PFRA statement on match official respect in Round 8 Hyundai A-League fixtures

Members of the Professional Football Referees Association (PFRA) will cover the #Respect hashtag on both sleeves of their referee shirt in all Round 8 fixtures of the Hyundai A-League this weekend.

This stance comes following the lack of action taken by Football Federation Australia (FFA) regarding recent post-match media comments from Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan.

Rudan’s comments about the match officials after the Round 6 match between Wellington Phoenix and Perth Glory were in clear breach of the FFA Code of Conduct, under clauses ‘Bringing the game into disrepute’ and ‘Making disparaging media statements’.

Despite a request in writing to FFA senior management to publicly condemn these comments as a violation to the Code of Conduct, no public action has been taken to date.

“Referees have no issue with coaches and players expressing disagreement with decisions after a match, and they are accountable for their decisions. However, comments which unfairly question the impartiality of a referee and contain an accusation of bias are unacceptable,” Delovski said.

“No one in their workplace should be subject to public harassment and FFA’s silence on this particular issue has led to our decision to take a stand this weekend.

“We believe the message needs to be clear for all aspiring match officials and the 9,000 registered football referees in Australia – no one should have to tolerate intimidation or harassment as a normal part of their job. It is a form of bullying that can no longer be the standard we accept.”

It is hoped that future breaches of the Code of Conduct are taken seriously by FFA and dealt with appropriately.

Strebre Delovski President, PFRA Inc.

Mark Rudan’s post-match comments

“It couldn’t have been more one-sided.

“If he can sleep well at night, good on him.

“He has completely killed the game, completely changed the game for us.

“We are crucified as coaches when results don’t go out way but there needs to be something said about that referee today because I thought he lost control of the game and he cost us.

“He’s cost us, he certainly has.

"Everything goes against us because no one wants us around.”

Breaches of FFA Code of Conduct

2.2 A Member will be taken as having brought football into Disrepute if any of the following occurs: (f) Intimidation of Match Officials, which may take the form of (but is not restricted to) derogatory or abusive words or gestures toward a Match Official or the use of violence or threats to pressure a Match Official to take or omit to take certain action regardless of where such action is taken.

5.1 (a) A Member must not make any statement in public, including any contribution to television, radio or print media that is disparaging or derogatory of a Match Official, opposition team or any Player or Official.

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