Referee gets police protection Print E-mail
Written by TheWorldGame   
Thursday, 14 August 2008 13:30

A Hawke's Bay football referee was threatened with violence and fled to a changing room for protection at the weekend.

Referee Matt Stoneman was forced into a hasty retreat after red-carding a couple of Maycenvale Masters players at the end of their match against the Napier Marist Masters.

Maycenvale players threatened to "deck" Mr Stoneman and three off-duty police officers playing for the Marist side had to stand guard outside the officials' changing room for his protection.

"He was in absolute fear of his life and trembling," a witness told Hawke's Bay Today.

The trouble began after Maycenvale goalkeeper Kane Landers was red-carded for allegedly abusing and threatening Mr Stoneman.

The ref then warned teammate Blair Roberston for alleged abuse and gave him a red card at the end of the game.

Mr Stoneman then had to hightail it for the safety of the changing room with Robertson allegedly taking off his shirt and telling him: "I'll teach you to show me the f--ing red card you so-and-so".

As well as having to deal with the on field-antics, Mr Stoneman's nightmare match was compounded by problems from the sideline.

Maycenvale coach Paul Woon was sent from the field for abuse and a fan had to be instructed to "quieten it down".

Maycenvale club president Charlie Turi could not say what action would be taken against the players until a Central Soccer judicial hearing next week.

Hawke's Bay Football Referees' Association president Dave Fellows told the newspaper it was the third incident involving Mr Stoneman in the last month.

A match between Western Rangers and Port Hill United was abandoned in July when the Rangers walked off the pitch to protest an offside decision.

The incident ended with a player headbutting angry fans in an effort to protect Mr Stoneman.

Marist won the weekend match 2-1.