Violence, referees attacked: amateur football worried after a turbulent season

Attacks and inequalities have been numerous this season among amateurs. Several clubs have intervened to protest the wickedness of the players and parents.

It is not only among the professionals that the season was stormy: referees were attacked, leaders abused, French amateur football is worried after a season marked by violence and rudeness and is trying to draw conclusions from it.

Slapped by a mother

Théo Boucher, an 18-year-old referee who was beaten violently by players and spectators after a match under 17 in the Somme, was one of the victims of this troubling year. ” A mother assaulted me by beating me. I still do not understand his gesture, for I could have been his son. I do not know what went through his head “he testifies.” I had never been subjected to such serious acts “, Recognizes the young man who has resumed arbitration.

And the case is not isolated. If the professional world has made headlines for excesses of followers, Sunday football has also experienced a year marked by insecurity.

Suspension of training in Boulogne-Billancourt to protest against parental rudeness, postponement of a weekend of competition in Seine-et-Marne following the attack on a referee in Melun, tougher sanctions in the Auvergne-Rhône League Alps after another referee attack… Local authorities has multiplied the measures.

This season, we are clearly witnessing a deterioration of the environment around the tracks », Analyzes Jean-Claude Lefranc, President of the National Union of Football Referees (Unaf) and Technical Adviser in the Rhône district. ” Educators tell me: they can no longer bear to see so many parents become unbearable because their children do not play “.

The deterioration observed by local leagues and districts is difficult to measure. The latest figures from the “Behavior Observatory” of the French Football Association (FFF) go back to the 2018-19 season with 12,369 matches marked by an incident, ie a percentage of 1.8% of the matches in question.

Dissatisfaction with the judges

The statistics on judges’ dissatisfaction are more evocative: FFF lost 4,500 judges between 2016 and 2021, and the N.1 reason for their demotivation is insecurity, mentioned by 54% of respondents in a survey conducted by the association in the spring.

This season we have seen blows, real physical attacks. It is intolerable “I apologize to Eric Borghini, who is responsible for arbitration in the FFF’s executive committee.

All of this is very paradoxical, because after 18 months of stopping (due to the pandemic), one would have thought that returning to the field would be filled with joy and pleasure. », Jean-Claude Lefranc resumes. He invokes both the frustration caused by the health crisis and the incarceration, but also ” the increasingly sharpened competitive spirit in the clubs “.

How to deal with this phenomenon? ” We need to recover quickly because the climate is tense “, insists Pascal Parent, another member of” Comex “and president of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes League, where all disciplinary sanctions for assaulting a player or official were doubled at the end of the season.

Most of the players are in favor of a tougher federal disciplinary scale, which currently gives an attack on an official a suspension that can range from eight months (voluntary shock) to 15 years (serious brutality).

“Hitting a referee kills football”

But it is necessary to attach a collective sanction to the individual sanction. Otherwise it’s too easy “, Pascal Parent continues, pointing out the non-systematic nature of collective sanctions (withdrawal of points, exclusion from the team).

This is the significance of one of the 30 recommendations from a working group on arbitration, which was validated on Saturday by the General Assembly of the Federation: ” We propose to automate the withdrawal of suspended points in case of aggression “, Pleads Eric Borghini.

Other proposals validated by “3F”: generalization of the white card (temporary exclusion in case of misconduct) for all amateur competitions, creation of an optional module dedicated to conflict management in referee training, generalization of listening cells, systematic evaluation of the feeling of security in the official report of each meeting.

Strong measures to deal with this outbreak of violence “, Assures Eric Borghini before concluding:” Hitting a referee kills football. »

Leave a Comment