Thursday 23 March 2017

There Would Be Shortage Of Referees If Abuse Is Not Checked - Pierluigi Collina says

A former World Cup final referee, Pierluigi Collina has warned of a global refereeing shortage if more is not done to tackle abuse towards officials in the grassroots game.
Collina has highlighted the real threat of violence; particularly towards volunteers he calls heroes. He was appointed as chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee in January. Collina welcomes initiatives, including the Football Association's 'Respect' campaign, to improve behaviour towards officials.

He said “Unfortunately I see this in almost every country in the world, It's a worldwide problem that we need to consider and we need to take (action) as soon as possible. We will be short of referees in the future. What motivates a youngster to become a referee if they know they will be verbally abused and risk violence? We have a huge number of referees working every weekend in grassroots and amateur football. At this level there is something as a threat; it's a physical threat of violence. Unfortunately, at this level, instead of paying huge respect for these unknown heroes, refereeing a match on a very poor football field with people trying to enjoy themselves, unfortunately they are abused verbally, physically sometimes, this is a real threat. I have already seen some national associations supporting referees, many national associations have launched a campaign, the FA did something like this, also UEFA and FIFA are promoting respect, not only towards referees but football. Without respect we have no fair football. I know that it won't be easy but something has to be done. Certainly top football has to give grassroots football the correct message. Sometimes a wrong message is given from top football, it can be very negative.”

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