Referees in Kent are on the receiving end of a lot of verbal abuse from players and coaches/managers for merely officiating a game of football, says retired referee

Friday 02nd October 2015

This article has been written by a retired referee, who wished to remain anonymous, and centres around a lack of Respect being shown to match officials by managers and players.

“Respect is on the decline in Kent, despite Kent FA recently winning a Respect award from The FA.

A game (between AC London and Crockenhill in the Kent Invicta League) was abandoned on Saturday 26th September within the first half due to a mass brawl and six red cards! The outcome of this is yet to be resolved by Kent FA and The FA.

In Kent, football is doing great, celebrating 125 years of The Kent Senior Cup which is contested by the likes of Gillingham, Charlton, Ebbsfleet and Maidstone.

Football Clubs are upgrading their grounds to compete at a high standard of football, Glebe, Meridian and Hollands & Blair to name a few, but somehow we are seeing Respect Code of Conduct not being used in matches.

The game mentioned at the top of this article is prime example of The Code of Conduct not being adhered to.

From what I have gathered, this has stemmed from a post-match interview where the interviewee (AC London manager Prince Choudary) made comments that showed no respect to the league his team had just joined and to his fellow coaches/managers. 

This prompted a Twitter debate  and a lot of abusive tweets were tweeted which of course boiled over into the match that happened on Saturday 26th September and resulted in the mass brawl, six red cards and an abandonment of the match.

Referees in Kent are on the receiving end of a lot of verbal abuse from players and coaches/managers for merely officiating a game of football.  The Kent FA are seen doing something to improve Respect in the county. I am not convinced.  

The Kent Invicta Football League have a Respect Officer that is meant to do what? Making sure all affiliated clubs adhere to the Code of Conduct. 

Now if I am not mistaken, referees have to attend a seminar to show we know how to adhere to them but players, managers don't?! Something wrong there?

I believe this person is too busy taking photos of matches on a different league to concentrate on the role that was given to them to do!

Respect needs to be educated to everyone involved.  The Kent FA need to compile a team and educate every single player and manager/coach of every club that is affiliated to the two most senior leagues in the county, this is where the impact of Respect should be targeted.

Seminars need to be held.  Now there will not be a venue big enough to do all players and managers, so it should be down to each club to provide a venue to hold the seminar, invite everyone involved in the club and the team of Kent FA Respect Officers will deliver the seminar and educate everyone involved in the club, this to be held pre-season.

The contents of the seminar should consist of the Code of Conduct, going through each section (not referee section), scenarios should be described to demonstrate the importance of respecting referees and should be finished with the Refereeing Development Officer closing the seminar with a Q&A session.”

And when asked why he retired from refereeing, he replied: “Mainly family reasons, got two boys, aged eight and four. I’ve been refereeing for 11 years and got to Level Five. Also the level of verbal abuse from certain players and players in both the Southern Counties East Football League and Kent Invicta League just got too much and nothing was done to stop it! Reported, banned and fined was not enough!”