VAFA Notice: Umpire Abuse

31 May 2011

Of particular concern to the VAFA and the VAFAUA has been the recent trend of umpires being referred to as "cheats" by players and officials

Of particular concern to the VAFA and the VAFAUA has been the recent trend of umpires being referred to as "cheats" by players and officials. This has been observed and reported to us from a number of sources including umpires, VAFA officials and spectators. For some reason, this seems to be more prevalent than in previous years and something the VAFA is keen to stamp out very quickly.

Umpire retention has been, and remains, a critical issue for football in general and the time and resources injected into umpire recruitment is substantial. Questioning someone's integrity is not only malicious, it has the potential to remove the motivation for people to undertake the role. The umpires that officiate matches in the VAFA are the best available and one thing is for certain – they are not out there to cheat.

Therefore, in line with the VAFA's Zero Tolerance Policy and the need to increase umpire retention; players and officials who refer to umpires as "cheats" will be dealt with swiftly and severely. Players will be red carded and reported and a free-kick awarded to the opposition. If the abuse emanates from the coaches box or from an official, a free-kick will be awarded immediately to the opposition and the matter reported to the VAFA.

Again, the VAFA treats this matter extremely seriously and expects the clubs to do likewise. The umpires will not issue warnings and we make no apologies for penalising this kind of behaviour.

Jeremy Bourke