NFL lockout drawing to a close

NFL lockout drawing to a close
© PA Photos
Reports in the US media suggest that the dispute between the NFL and their officials could be over before the end of this week.

The National Football League has reportedly moved a step closer to agreeing a deal that will see referees return to action in the near future.

Referees have been locked out since the summer due to a dispute over wages and pensions, with replacement officials being employed at the beginning of this season.

However, the majority of officials have no NFL experience and a game between the Seattle Sounders and the Green Bay Packers on Monday ended in controversy after a refereeing mistake allowed Seattle to score a match-winning touchdown.

Reports in the US media suggest that the deal could be agreed as early as this weekend.

The NFL were planning to transfer the referees into a higher-risk retirement plan before the lockout was put in place.

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