Irish or Scandinavian referees may be asked to step in to cover a proposed strike by Scottish referees, the Scottish Football Association has confirmed.
Scottish match officials are threatening action this weekend to protest against criticism from some clubs over refereeing decisions made during recent matches.
They believe such criticism compromises their safety on and off the pitch.
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan confirmed that they were looking abroad as a contingency plan so that this weekend’s games could go ahead if the strike happens.
“We’ve got to make sure we bring in referees from those countries who are available,” he said.
“It could be the Republic of Ireland, it could be the Scandinavian countries, there are a number of options open to us and we will be exhausting all of those.”
Mr Regan also acknowledged that bringing in foreign referees would be expensive. “It will be expensive bringing people in, not just match fees but the expense of getting them here as well.”
Talks to avoid the strike will continue this week.
Related: Scottish referee strike planned