Leisure Leagues – the world’s largest provider of 6 a side football – reacted with fury as the FA handed down its punishment to a footballer who left a referee afraid for his life and asked: “Why are the rule makers so weak?”
Shocking footage of Satyam Toki, from London, being attacked by a player recently went viral, but when the perpetrator attended an FA Disciplinary hearing last weekend he was banned for just ten years.
It has been widely reported that a ten year exclusion was the maximum sanction that could be given under FA rules, and according to Leisure Leagues Head Of Refereeing, Martin Cassidy, that in itself is the problem.
Mr. Cassidy (pictured above Florian Peotter, senior Referee with the Leisure Leagues powered ISF) has been providing support to Mr. Toki and said the FA rules in their current form were not fit for purpose: “Why only a ten year ban? Why are they unable to say this player cannot ever play the sport again? Surely that is the only acceptable way to govern.”
Cassidy is a former top-flight Assistant Referee and confirmed that Leisure Leagues had taken a much firmer stance than the out of touch suits at Wembley. “We know who the attacker is, I’ve been helping Satyam through this ordeal and we will not be allowing this player to take part in any of our competitions for the rest of his life.
“It is a source of great sadness to me that the FA couldn’t do this. If they want to hide behind their rules, then fair enough, but those rules are obviously not fit for purpose.”
At the time of the attack, Satyam said he was pressing charges because he was fearful that a referee would lose his life in future. To date the Met Police have not arrested the thug involved.
The legal complexities do not concern Mr Cassidy as much as the football ones at this stage, but as he added, the feebleness of the ban didn’t come as a surprise, and merely underlined yet another reason why Leisure Leagues didn’t affiliate to the FA despite their pressure over decades of what amounts to bullying. “Leisure Leagues are shocked but not surprised by the FA’s meek response to this terrible incident,” he said, firmly. “We have no idea what kind of assault on a match official could result in a lifetime ban. We fear that only a murder of a match official will result in more robust punishments for those cowards who assault referees and their assistants. That is why we are proudly independent, and we are even more proud of our commitment to discipline and inclusion.
“This is a sport for everyone to enjoy without fear. This is a fact that the FA would do well to consider more thoroughly.”
if you want to officiate for an organisation that will support you more with stronger and more robust punishment that are currently implemented by the FA then join us and be part of the change click here: https://www.leisureleagues.net/become-a-referee
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