The FA has more problems than it can deal with at the moment. Their top brass was hauled in front of a Select Committee in the House Of Commons las week, to explain their actions in the case of Eni Aluko and the two other players who were apparently racially abused by former manager Mark Sampson and goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall.
But one of their recurring issues – one they have seemingly into the long grass so far that they can’t even find it – is the abuse of and violence towards referees and match officials.
The last figures published by The FA show there were 111 proven cases of assaults on match officials – three per week during the football season in other words – plus the incredible amount of verbal abuse.
Speaking in The Telegraph last year, former Premier League official Mike Cairns, who returned to the game to help mentor young officials, said football was very different to the game he left in the mid-90s: “The level of indiscipline I see on a weekly basis is extreme,” he says. “It is beyond belief. I just don’t recall this level of abuse before.”
That’s why many are calling for referees to be allowed to wear recording equipment in a bid to stamp the epidemic out.
Last week a company called Ref Support launched a petition in order to lobby government to put pressure on the FA to change the law in football to allow referees to wear body cameras and recording devices.
Ref Support say: “We are taking positive action to bring about change, we implore the whole of the Footballing family to support our call for a change in the Laws of the Game for the use of wearable recording devices to protect referees from assaults and abuse. We believe these devices will act as deterrents first and foremost as well as recording incidents when assaults and abuse occur. Parents, coaches, managers and players all want a more enjoyable experience when participating in our beautiful game. Hearing and seeing assaults and abuse is something the majority of participants want to eradicate.”
At Leisure Leagues our stance on discipline is unrivalled throughout the industry and we wholeheartedly support anything that takes positives steps to make the game a safer environment for players and officials.
We urge all of our players to sign this petition and share the link on social media. Together let us create the momentum for change.Back to Blog