Saturday 31 December 2016

Referee Demands For Strike Action Over Abuse And Assault On Matchdays

A 17years old referee is calling for a nationwide strike for football officials after suffering verbal and physical abuse on the pitch.  Ryan Hampson, who has refereed in the Manchester area for three years, wants colleagues in grassroots football to walk out on March 4 and 5.

Manchester FA chief executive Colin Bridgford says he wants to meet Hampson to discuss his concerns but is strongly opposed to strike action. Hampson said “We've had enough abuse and assaults. In the past year I've been headbutted three times, punched more than three times and spat at on several occasions  There's referees up and down the country who have been involved in this; Sheffield, London, Somerset, loads of Liverpool lads. We just want to get out a clear message that we've had enough. We've had enough of turning up on a Sunday and getting abused and assaulted on numerous occasions during the season, and the FA are doing not much about it. I'm just a young lad who loves refereeing. I've done it for about three years, and the majority of the time I do love it - there are some fantastic clubs around. But there are some bad clubs around that do need to understand that we are humans as well. If you do this on the street then you're not going to get away with it, so why should you when you cross over that white line?
Colin Bridgford, the chief executive of the Manchester FA, has issued a statement and says that cases of abuse and assault are rare - and that no cases of assault on a match official have been lodged this season. He said “We will be seeking to meet with Ryan as soon as possible to discuss his concerns. However, we are strongly opposed to the provision and promotion of strike action across grassroots football.  We are fully committed to helping provide a safe and enjoyable learning environment for our dedicated referees to pursue a role that they are passionate about. Abuse in any form is not and will not be tolerated in grassroots football.

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