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"Time To Consider Silent Sidelines Nationally To End Referee abuse"

File image: Pexels

A Kildare Labour Senator has said clubs need to ensure that children have respect for referees.

Kildare Senator Mark Wall has said the unacceptable abuse experienced by referees needs to be stamped out.

The Labour sports spokesperson is Calling on the Minister for Sport to carry out an audit of the number of reported incidents.

He said it is time to consider initiatives that have worked well in other jurisdictions including silent sidelines.

Senator Wall commented: “Games can only go ahead with our referees and it’s very concerning to hear the amount of referees leaving within two years of completing the referees beginner’s course, with many citing ‘referee abuse’ as their reason for going.

"This is hugely damaging and if this trend continues, we will find ourselves without any community games to look forward to," he said.

“We’ve all attended games where we've heard abuse on the sidelines, the losing team blame a bad referee for example, this type of discourse only serves to perpetuate a negative atmosphere towards referees," he insisted.

“Some clubs are taking their own initiative to stamping out referee abuse such as Silent Sidelines.

"This is rooted in the principle of ‘let them play’ without any interference from the sidelines from adults," he added.

"Clubs need to ensure that children have proper respect for referees and hearing poor comments from the sideline undermines this," he concluded.

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