Rebel refs may boycott A-League Print E-mail
Written by Val Migliaccio, The Advertiser   
Thursday, 22 August 2013 23:07

Football Federation Australia officials will continue planning for the A-League season despite rebel out-of-contract FIFA-badged referees threatening to boycott the competition.

With the A-League kick off just 51 days away, Canberra’s AIS complex will see a definitive story unfolding on Friday.

Only contracted FFA’s FIFA-badged officials are expected turn up for a three-day match officials’ assessment.

A FIFA referees assessor will attend to ensure Australia’s FFA match officials meet the required criteria.

Most of Australia’s 14 FIFA-badged match officials have signed new FFA contracts with 20 per cent pay increases but it’s understood a few of the referees’ ‘leadership’ group have not signed and remain uncontracted.

It’s understood members of the FIFA-badged referees leadership group had met FFA’s director of referees Ben Wilson to discuss concerns over a pay dispute last month.

But the match officials head group had reportedly approached Wilson after FFA had already set it budgets for the 2013/14 A-League season.

Uncontracted officials may now risk tainting their hard earned FIFA badges if they don’t turn up for the A-League’s official preseason assessment.

And there is a possibility out-of-contract FIFA-badged officials may lose officiating rights to any A-League clashes, FIFA World Cup matches, AFC Champions League and other tournaments sanctioned by FIFA.

In the new A-League match officials contract referees will receive a $5000 retainer, earn $1400 per match, receive $350 a day in travel allowances and have all of their travel and accommodation paid by FFA.

Assistant referees will receive a $2500 retainer, earn $700 per match and $350 a day in travel expenses on top of FFA paying for travel and accommodation.

FFA last week held talks with lawyer, former chief of the Rugby Union Players Association, Tony Dempsey who represented disgruntled A-League match officials.

AusRef Editorial Note: this article appeared in the Herald Sun. We have it on good authority that most of the information in the item is false - however it has been included for completeness of reporting.