Referees have always been controversial in Spain, no matter which team is playing or which referees have been involved. However there is a growing concern amongst referees that their treatment not only goes beyond the boundaries of a professional working environment, but that thratens their physical safety, as per Cadena SER.
Just 16 days ago the RFEF released a similar statement asking for more protection, but now the referees in charge of youth football and amateur football have gone down that route too.
They complain of consistent threats, aggression, violence and insults which not only impede their ability to do their job, but threaten them while doing so. The recent statement that came from referees in professional football came after one referee was assaulted by the parent of a player waiting for them in the car park.
Certainly the culture surrounding referees in Spain is far from healthy, with refereeing decisions often analysed in minute detail, and used as an excuse and a scapegoat.
Our sole objective is not to have to regret any more incidents than have already occurred, which could lead us to adopt drastic and immediate measures that would have a direct impact on our competitions, forcing us not to expose the physical integrity of our members
From the football refereeing establishment, we want to show our concern about the increase in verbal and physical violence that our referees are suffering, especially accentuated in recent months.
It is difficult to carry out our work in a scenario with insults, pressure, threats, and aggression. All this for, presumably, committing refereeing errors in “amateur football” and, what is more serious, in “youth football”, categories that by all accounts should be considered leisure and educational.
The clubs and institutions defend the values that are instilled in football through training, but nevertheless, we can see harassment, threats and attacks on people who are training, whose only “crime” is exercising their passion as referees, in many cases minors, who try to do their job in the best possible way.
Obviously, we are aware that we make mistakes and we regret when they do, but we have the right to be wrong. The referees strive to improve, they are required to pass physical and technical tests and regularly demonstrate their knowledge, spending a lot of time preparing to give their best every weekend. We must not forget that the referees play for the same objectives as the clubs, the possibility of being promoted or relegated at the end of the season. The ease with which the entire arbitration team is disqualified or, what is worse, is questioned is surprising.
Unfortunately, violent situations are repeated, even becoming normal, inexcusable aggressive behavior. We are referring to the way in which very serious misconduct that violates sportsmanship and the values of sport are justified.
We ask for the maximum involvement of the official institutions and our political class without distinction of parties, since all of this affects such a precious asset as is our sport, for which we think that the time has come to avoid, among all, an incident with an irreversible end.
We must censor and prosecute aggressive attitudes, fight to stop violent people from being part of sport and stop encouraging hate and violence on social media and in the media.
For all these reasons, we ask that this situation be given the importance it deserves, that work be done to penalise this type of situation in an exemplary manner and thereby achieve protection in accordance with what a sports judge deserves. It is time to stop this continuous smear campaign towards the referees, which the only thing it generates is to question the honesty and good repute of the entire team.
Finally, it is our hope that this writing leads to a serious and profound reflection on the subject. Our sole objective is not to have to regret any more incidents than those that have already occurred, which could lead us to adopt drastic and immediate measures that would have a direct impact on our competitions, forcing us not to expose the physical integrity of our members.
Source : Football Espana