Here is a part of a report from a referee officiating in the North West Sydney Football competition
– on the same weekend, he and his 14 year old son were abused.
“I am withdrawing from refereeing for an indefinite period. I was involved in several incidents over the weekend.
I was subjected to consistent abusive language from players and people on the sideline, and consistent questioning of my decisions.
I felt unsafe with the level of anger directed at me.
I have lost sleep and I am left with stress and anxiety. I shouldn’t have to be subjected to the level of abuse I received.
My 14-year-old son (also a referee) was approached and inappropriately questioned by an angry parent who wanted to question a throw-in, and his (correct) decision to not allow a goal to stand after the half time whistle had been blown.
I really do feel isolated and disconnected as a referee. I find myself questioning whether I want to continue doing this if this is how I will be treated on my weekends.
I saw refereeing as a way for me to help others enjoy the game that I love, but the behaviour of some players in a number of games I have refereed has been appalling and I need to take a break.”
These excerpts come from a report from an adult male referee. He and his 14 year old son took up refereeing this year to “help others enjoy the game”.
The abuse and questioning of decisions from players, managers and spectators has resulted in both referees ceasing their involvement.
That potentially means around 50 games will go uncovered for the remainder of this year, as a direct result of 2 referees leaving due to abuse.
At football games, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Play your part to stop abuse of referees. #RespectTheRef #RespectTheGame