As a parent of a 15 year old newly qualified referee, I simply couldn’t continue to sit back and say nothing anymore. What my son has been subjected to would not happen in any other walk of life or profession.
My son has been involved in Grassroots for about 10 years, earlier this year he asked if he could earn a few quid on a weekend and still be involved in the game by becoming a referee.
I must admit I have followed my sons footballing journey over the years and have watched most of his games and seen how refs were treat so had reservations. My son however was adamant, he was a confident lad and thought he would do a good job, and like he said “I could get a part tim job doing something I hate or something I love”
With this in mind I supported his qualification and was so proud as his mum when he qualified as a ref. I went to watch my son ref the games and was just as proud watching him as the other parents on the sidelines watching their players.
What I have seen in a few months watching my son referee is absolutely ridiculous, he has been ridiculed, sworn at, abused verbally and threatened physically, all for what happens during a game. He has got to the point now that he’s become scared to make a decision because no matter the decision, usually comes multiple shouts of disagreement.
The amount of times an incident happens and the default shouts of “Come on Ref” before he has even had a chance to put the whistle to his lips.
I appeal to all parents out there to think again before attending the next game and treat the ref as if it were your child. My son will only take so much and he tells me that his fellow referee’s feel very similar. Heard it before but its true, No Ref – No Game.
Yours in Sport
A Referees Mum