Peterborough Junior League threaten to suspend clubs if referee abuse continues as four young officials quit every week

Peterborough and District League Junior Alliance Clubs will be suspended from the competition if they are found guilty of persistently abusing referees.

By Alan Swann
Friday, 19th November 2021, 11:10 am
Junior Alliance League officials David & Hazel Burgess.
Junior Alliance League officials David & Hazel Burgess.

League chairman David Burgess has warned of such drastic action in a hard-hitting statement after a number of young referees quit this season because of abuse received from club officials and spectators.

Burgess revealed the league have been receiving FOUR repotts of abuse every week from referees.

Burgess posted some strong comments on the Junior Alliance Leagues’ Facebook page this week: “Since the season started the league have received reports of abuse to our young referees every week. We are getting four a week and it is getting beyond a joke.

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“Last weekend two young 15 & 16 year old referees, who have only been refereeing since taking their courses last summer, took so much horrific abuse, they cannot now take any more and have decided to pack up. We have lost two others through managers or spectators losing control.

“You are all watching children’s football. The referees are also children and I have to ask how you would feel watching your son or daughter being abused in front of a crowd of people? If you cannot stand on the touchline with positive comments and applaud rather than abuse and swear at these young referees please do not attend as you are not wanted.

“The majority of the referees officiating are aged between 14 and 16. Remember every referee between the age of 14 and 18 is covered by child protection. The situation is getting so bad all clubs/teams who have been reported to their County FA for abuse to referees will be receiving a warning letter from the League and be required to inform the League what proposed action they intend to take.

“If the situation does not improve the club will have a yellow warning and be brought in before the League Committee. A red warning may lead to suspension.

“If you want a referee appointed then protect them, look after them and help them by keeping quiet and accepting they make a mistake as they are human. If you think you can do better then take the referees course. You might then appreciate how these your referees feel.

Football was a beautiful enjoyable game and let’s get it back to where it was by being polite, friendly and with everyone showing respect to each other.”