NFL refs approve deal, scramble for Sunday return - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

NFL refs approve deal, scramble for Sunday return

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IRVING, Texas (WKOW) -- The NFL referees that were recently on a lockout have approved a new 8-year deal with the league.

Referees approved the contract by a 112-5 vote Saturday morning, officially ending a lockout that led to a rising chorus of complaints from players, coaches, fans and politicians.

The refs who voted in Irving, Texas, on Saturday are at the airport and getting ready to head to their first Sunday game sites.

The deal came quickly after three weeks of escalating difficulties for league-hired replacement refs, culminating in a disputed touchdown call that decided Monday night's Packers-Seahawks game.

With a tentative deal in place, league referees returned to cheers at Thursday night's game between Cleveland and Baltimore.

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