CIFA issues bans and warnings over referee abuse

| 07/06/2012

rooney.jpg(CNS): Misconduct by players, coaching staff and fans has raised concerns and led the Cayman Islands Football Association Disciplinary Committee to issue a number of bans this season to individuals from three different local league teams. CIFA officials said that bans have been handed out to several players and four team staff, ranging from 6 months to two years and one player has been banned for life following an assault on a referee during a game in which he was struck in the head. The committee chair has issued a stern warning over the need to improve conduct following mounting complaints of verbal and discriminatory abuse suffered by referees and officials.

The incidents have occurred during various CIFA league matches this season and Richard Barton, the Disciplinary Committee chair, said it was regrettable but as a result of the poor conduct of not just players but team officials as well, it had become necessary for the committee to make its concerns public.

“The frequency at which verbal, and in at least one case, physical, abuse has been hurled at referees can only be described as a complete lack of regard for the integrity of the sport. Such lack of regard is further evidenced by the mounting caseload of incidents amongst players, the vast majority of which involve racial and discriminatory verbal abuse in addition to violent conduct,” Barton said in a statement released Thursday.

“What now appears to be an emerging theme of insolence and an attempt by certain repeat offenders who seemingly strive to bring the sport of football into disrepute will strictly not be tolerated. The DC has had to resort to the extreme measures, including imposing lifetime bans on certain players in our efforts to reverse this unfortunate trend within the various leagues,” the chair added.

He said that team officials as well as members of the football clubs should remember that the ability to play football is a privilege and not a right and playing carries a “high standard of responsibility which must at all times be assumed and exhibited by its beneficiaries,” Barton stated.

“As Chairman of the DC I implore club managers and sponsors to give due consideration to these concerns and to be more discerning in their team selection process, which extends beyond the players on the pitch. This is a stern caution to all participating in the sport that the DC will take all the necessary action that is prescribed within the scope of its authority to radiate this disturbing occurrence,” the chair warned.

Although the committee has at present refrained from publicly naming and shaming the individuals involved in the abuse, Barton warned it was an action that remained open to them should the abuse and poor conduct continue.

The warning comes in the wake of the historic appointment of a Cayman Islands’ football official to the top FIFA post in the region. Jeff Webb’s election as president of CONCACAF will see the spotlight turned on Cayman when it comes to football in the Americas. As a result the conduct of local players, coaches and others involved in the game is even more significant.

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Comments (9)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As a footballer in the local league I'll jus like to point out that the refs here on island are TRASH!!! Your team trains and prepares for months.. You give up 5-6 evenings out of your week to pratice during the seaon.. Then you play in a game and are basically forced to deal with refs who have no clue of what they are doing.. At this level only players that love and have a great passion for football contine to play, being as they have other obligations (work, kids, etc.).. So of course players with be extra frustrated and emotional on the calls that are being made.. Especially if they are obviously wrong!! I have seen numerous bad calls.. Game in and game out.. I have even experienced where the ref made a horrible call and then comes over to the bench to explain why the call was made only to further confirm the ref did not know what he was doing!! (If a player is offside it does not matter if he hands the ball to control it because he is already in an offside position!!!!) I wish I knew their names I swear I'd call every last one of them out.. Let me take this quick second to commend Alfredo.. One of the only fair refs that I personally know of..

    It should be mandatory for the refs to have had some experience in actully playing football.. How can you ref a game that you have never played?!?!?! A next thing.. Fitness level!!! How can a overweight linesman which main purpose of the game is to keep up with the last defender, keep up with a player that trains all week???? I personally dont see how that makes any sense at all.. There should be more requirements put in place to be qualified as a ref rather than passing a written test..

    The refs here seem to be more focused on the color of the tights under your uniform pants rather that actully making good/fair calls..

    I really wish I could post my name up here but my team and I already feel that CIFA has something against us so I wont throw gas on the flame.. 🙂


  2. Anonymous says:

    I honestly think as a player my self that, the players in the preimer league league should get paided. Reasons for that is, if they had something more to lose than just sitting out of game,  then standards would change. With that the referee's would have power over the player's.For example if a player  got banned they dont play which means they dont get paided. This is just my thought and experience from playing in other leagues.

    Please post your thoughts.

    • Loopy Lou says:

      My thought is that my views about the intellectual ability of soccer players has been more than amply affirmed by this piece of illiterate drivel.

  3. Anonymous says:

    very simple solution….. a player should not be allowed within 5 yards of the referee when the game is stopped….any infringement = yellow card

  4. Anonymous says:


    Consistency from the officials is the key. I have seen some outrageous decisions over the past couple of seasons, which defy explanation and are blatantly biased.  

    It's no wonder players become frustrated with obvious favoritism. 

    The crowd and the sideline pressure very easily sways the refs here into making decisions. They need to be able to stand by the rules and be firm and certain in their calls. 

    If the officials want respect then they have to earn it by being transparent and more importantly just with their decisions. 


  5. Anonymous says:

    This just reaffirms the old saying: Football is a gentleman's game played by hooligans, whereas rugby is a hooligans game played by gentlemen. Every decision by a referee should not be considered a debate and players (and staff) should stop acting like spoiled children everytime a decision goes against them. Time to shut up and get on with the game lads.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have read of all the alledged abuse by players to refrees and the actions taken against the players but did not read about any action taken against the refs or if  there was any REAL investigations done in these matters to see why this abuse takes place. Remember abuse comes in many forms so the ref must be doing some sort of abuse or for lack of Vision or out of spite makes  bad calls against a player over and over again and the player knows he is right most of the time and try to explain but gets a card for his effort.   Theref makes a call against a player who he have spoken to on previous ocasions when the player felt he was right also and the linesman who is right by the incident call the ref(who is on the otherside of the field) and tell him he made the wrong call but is brush off ,what would you call this action.The player is only human and so is the ref the difference, the ref is the one with the power and now the backing.I am not saying some players,benches and fans dont act badly sometimes but so do the refs. I know that the ref is suppose to call it as he sees it but he also should be consistant in his calls. (What is foul for one team should be foul for the other.) I think we need to educate our Players ,Coaches,Benches and yes the fans more on the rules of the game. 

    • Anonymous says:

      From what you have written, it appears that you are trying very hard to justify why any player (and possibly yourself ) should verbally or physically abuse a referees.  There are no justifiable reasons to verbally /physicall or racially abuse anyone period!

      The fact that both the referees and players are "only human" as you put it, should allow everyone to expect and honest  "bad calls" (mistaken/incorrect calls) from the officials.

      I may concede to your point of the officials could at times appear show "lack of vision" or make "out of spike bad calls". But will the officials improve their officiating of the match if they are abused? I think not and perhaps the officiating of the game goes from bad to worse. Teams and their officials should write a report  with unbaised proof and turn it in to CIFA. Let them sort the referees out.

      Most fans of the game watch various football competitions on tv, and I am sure they have seen some terrible officiating from  referees. what you don't see much of is the players abusing the referee? and these are some leagues were millions of dollars are at stake, the palyers just get on with the game.

      I  strongly agree with your final point that we need to educate the players, coaches and team officials. I would take it a step forward and challenge anyone who feels that they can do better the the currect set of referees to come out  and prove it. 


      • Anonymous says:

        I have not physically or verbally abused any ref, but I am not blind and I see a lot of forms of bad calls against players.I am not saying it right for any player to abuse a ref no more that I saying its right for a ref to abuse a player but the same way the ref will (as was said) retaliate against a player ,the player could do the same and nieghter is right(remember respect  earnes respect)