Obama: NFL needs its regular referees

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Obama: NFL needs its regular referees

WASHINGTON - The embarrassing NFL referee saga and the disputed call that gave the Seattle Seahawks a victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night has reached the campaign for the White House, with President Barack Obama deeming it “terrible’’ and declaring it was time to get regular officiating crews back on the job.

“I’ve been saying for months we’ve got to get our refs back,’’ Obama said as he returned to the White House from an appearance before the United Nations. In a tweet that went out under his initials, Obama said: “NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs’ lockout is settled soon.’’

In a rare moment of agreement with Obama, presidential rival Mitt Romney and GOP running mate Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin native, also said it was time to bring back the “real refs.’’

The NFL locked out the officials in June after their contract expired. The league has been using replacement officials, who have come under increasing criticism over the way they handled some games.

Seattle won 14-12 over Green Bay after referees ruled a Seattle receiver caught the ball amid a pile of bodies in the end zone on the game’s last play. The NFL conceded that a Seattle penalty in the course of the play went uncalled and cost the Packers the victory.

AP
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