Abandoned match costs referees Print
Written by Matthew Hall, SBS   
Friday, 19 September 2008 10:40

A referee who abandoned an under-16s match after an all-in brawl between players has been ordered to pay the costs of a tribunal that cleared both teams of any misconduct.

The referee called off the match, played in Sydney between the under-16 teams of Blacktown Spartans and Rockdale City Suns, after a fight broke out between players and a spectator invaded the pitch.

However, while officials from both clubs agreed the referee was within his rights to abandon the game, a Football New South Wales tribunal investigating events launched a scathing attack on match officials claiming to be 'unimpressed with the standard and veracity of evidence provided by all three referees in this matter'.

The investigation subsequently found Blacktown Spartans and Rockdale City Suns not guilty of misconduct but ordered the Nepean District Soccer Referees Association pay a $550 'administration fee' to cover costs of the tribunal.

A copy of the 'Notice of Determination' filed by the FNSW General Purposes Tribunal obtained by The World Game claims 'a message needs to be sent to the referees that the quality and truthfulness of their evidence is pivotal to maintaining good order and discipline in the sport'.

The report explains a fight broke out during the second half of the match after 'serious foul play' which resulted in two players being dismissed.

Other players on the pitch became involved in the fight - accounts differ as to whether the players were fighting or breaking up the brawl - while one spectator, a Blacktown under-16 player suspended from this match for previous misconduct, attempted to join the 'brawl'.

The tribunal, however, noted that evidence provided by match officials 'directly contradicted' that provided by both clubs.

The World Game understands morale among state level match officials is low, especially in the light of another recent incident where it has been alleged FNSW Vice-President Sam Krslovic seriously intimidated a referee after a State League game between Sydney United and Manly United.

That incident is scheduled to go before the FNSW General Purposes Tribunal when Krslovic returns from overseas this month.

FNSW have informed match officials involved in the Blacktown-Rockdale incident that the tribunal's decision can be appealed and emphasised the disciplinary committee is independent of the state governing body.

"The General Purposes Tribunal is at arms length from the management and the Board of Football NSW," said a FNSW official. "This has been done to allow for matters to be dealt with on merit and free of the political interference of the past."

Last Updated on Friday, 19 September 2008 10:48