A tiered system of suspensions are being considered

New rules are due to come in to play for Irish soccer from next year.

They're coming into force after a referee was assaulted in Co. Offaly last weekend.

Daniel Sweeney was attacked following a match between Mullingar Town and Horseleap.

He suffered severe facial injuries and had to undergo a five hour operation yesterday.

Last night, the Irish Soccer Referees Society met with officials from the FAI to discuss ways to stop people verbally and physically abusing referees.

President Paul O'Brien says they are looking at introducing a tiered system of suspensions.

"If a referee is assaulted - it would be graded on the seriousness of the assault".

"We've agreed to form a working group and hope to have the new rules implemented by the middle of January at the FAI EGM".