OPINION: Our referees are copping too much
CRITICISM of referees and officials has gone too far.
It was a shame to see online reports yesterday morning of abuse levelled at junior officials by spectators during the South Services Gunners Soccer Club Junior Tournament at Rushforth Park, South Grafton on Sunday.
The worst part was a referee subjected to abuse from parents on the sideline was a junior footballer himself.
I applaud the young official for continuing to perform his duties on the field despite bearing the brunt of the abuse. But what he had to endure was not acceptable.
Gunners president Shanon Tough went right to the heart of the issue in a social media post following the gala day.
"Thank you to the referees who without we wouldn't be playing at all," he said.
"You all stood your ground and did your job with integrity and fairness at all times."
This is a systemic problem that is not faced by football alone, it is across all sports, and it starts at the top end.
NRL coaches such as Ricky Stuart and Geoff Toovey who would rather risk a fine just to have a spray at referees set the wrong standard for our kids.
Sometimes referees will make mistakes, just like anyone else doing a job. But just like everyone else, they don't deserve to be abused from here to Sunday for that one error.