The ever present situation (in every region) that regretfully sees an insufficient number of match officials, continues to be a reality that just doesn’t resonate enough with most players/coaches/parents/spectators.
Payment is of course ONE factor (noting that fees are paid from a component of fees paid by players/parents (and we don’t typically find people wanting to pay more fees than they already do?), but the most recent weekend of football provided more evidence of the most significant reason why there is a reluctance for people to step forward and officiate. The instances of verbal abuse, disgraceful language, physical taunts and violent acts on the field of play and examples of lack of respect toward match officials, has seen several current match officials OPT OUT of officiating!!!
Reports of inappropriate behaviour each weekend coming from individual supporters, players, team officials and various match officials, expressing great distress about incidents that they witnessed at games is evidence of the negative impact of such behaviour.
For our match officials, many who are young and inexperienced, incidents that are confronting (even to hear about let alone be close to), have NO PLACE in the game. Football Regulations provide a mechanism for punitive measures to be imposed for offences and while that will happen where required, we make an observation that the energy spent in such matters is counter productive to what community sport should be about.
The final sentiment expressed now is that we simply must uphold more respect for match officials (in fact for every person) and this spiralling diminishment of behaviour within the football environment must get a correction. The positive and respectful culture that we are certain every individual wants displayed as a reflection of themselves and their respective club, is surely not an unreasonable benchmark to achieve?