Football referee banned from football
Mayes set up the fake accounts on Tinder and Facebook and flirted with other menDavid Ramos/Getty Images

Referee Connor Mayes is banned from football-related activities until 2019. The Southsea referee set up fake profiles of Women's FA Cup final official Lucy Oliver, and referees Amy Robinson and Paula Wyatt on the dating app Tinder, and flirted with other men.

Mayes, who was fined £200, received a three-year ban after 'maliciously' posing as each of the women on the dating app and setting up fake Facebook accounts in their names. The women realised they had been targeted after receiving unwanted comments and unsolicited approaches while they were refereeing and socialising.

Mayes had known the women as refereeing tutor at South Downs College in Portsmouth.

Janie Frampton, ambassador for women's sport support group Women in Football, said: 'Lucy, Amy and Paula have been through hell, with their reputations tarnished and their confidence shattered.

"The fact that Mr Mayes worked with all three referees and then betrayed them in this way illustrates a shocking disregard for the standards of trust and integrity that must be paramount when working together as a team officiating at a football match.'

The campaign group said Mrs Oliver, wife of the Premier League referee Michael Oliver who is currently officiating at the Euros, had been "forced to endure two years of torment." Mayes worked with Oliver at county-level matches.

Women in Football said Mayes was given a conditional caution by police in December and last month an independent FA regulatory commission found him guilty of improper conduct and banned him from refereeing from all football-related activities until 2019.

'Mr Mayes can return to football in three years as if nothing has happened but the women need FA sponsored counselling now to help them recover from this traumatic online abuse and to ensure that they can continue as highly successful referees. An FA statement said they had been in "regular contact" with the victims to offer "assistance and guidance."

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