Referees have a significant role in different sports, such as football. They greatly contribute to improving the flow of a game. This is the reason young people are being trained to be a great referee in the future. However, some players or audiences are seemingly discouraging referees through verbal abuse and intimidation.
In order to protect young referees from verbal abuse and intimidation, the Cornwall Football association started a new action. They decided to let young referees wear a purple shirt during games. They launched this idea on the 1st day of December at Wadebridge FC. This initiative aims to develop “a positive match day environment” not only for players but also for young referees. This is to let referees enjoy their role without intimidation or abuse.
There are varied purposes of the purple shirt for referees. The purple shirt will let the audience know that the referee is under eighteen in which he is still a trainee or a subject to safeguarding legislation. This will let the audience stop themselves from throwing negative or discouraging words to the referee. Furthermore, this aims to lessen the frequency of intimidation and abuse to future young referees. As the Cornwall Football Association referee development officer stated that abuse to young referees greatly impacts their enthusiasm towards the game and would trigger their willingness to continue as referees.
Everyone should also realize that refereeing is not an easy responsibility. One of the referees stated that it is a demanding responsibility. On the other hand, this is a responsibility that plays a great contribution to local teams and leagues. Furthermore, this allows a referee to improve his fitness and develop his confidence and communication skills. However, the referees will not realize the benefits with the presence of intimidation and verbal abuse. Thus, players, coaches, and supporters are encouraged to motivate young referees and help them build their passion for refereeing.