The Spanish Football Referees Committee expressed its concern about the escalation of insults and threats against referees in the lower levels of the local leagues, and demanded a review of the actions of players and fans alike.
The committee published a lengthy statement – highlighted by the Spanish newspaper “Mundo Deportivo” – in which it indicated its concern about the increase in “verbal and physical violence” suffered by the referees, especially in recent months.
In its statement, the committee confirmed that the referees face difficulties in practicing their work, in light of the insults, pressures, threats and attacks they are subjected to, stemming from “arbitration errors” in amateur and junior competitions.
She said, “Clubs always defend the values of football, yet we note the existence of harassment, threats and attacks on referees, and their only crime is practicing the profession they love.”
The statement added, “The clubs are supposed to realize that we make mistakes, and we regret that they occurred, but this is possible despite our efforts to improve. Referees are forced to pass physical and technical tests, and they spend a lot of time preparing to give their best every weekend.”
The committee stated, “We, like clubs, have goals, but aggressive behavior is unjustified. We are concerned about the way in which very serious misconduct that violates sportsmanship and the values of sport is justified.”
And she believed that the time had come for “collective thinking (from players, coaches, clubs, fans, media, and referees) to put an end to this scourge, and to take such attacks seriously, in order to avoid harsher and irreversible events.”
And she demanded an end to the “ongoing” defamation campaign against the rulers, which leads to questioning their reputation.