French Federation slams appalling treatment of referees and warns clubs of punishments

NCL Bradford Dudley Hill v Blackbrook

The French Federation has issued a letter to its clubs and leagues, following two incidents of referee and match official abuse in the past fortnight.

In an Under 19s game last week, a referee and female official were physically attacked, while the week before, a referee was attacked in a Federal Division match.

The letter reminds clubs that violence against officials is classed as aggravated violence and is punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years and a €75,000 fine.

A FFR statement said: “In a letter to the clubs, leagues and committees, the FFR XIII wished to reiterate all his indignation, solidarity and support for referees and delegates, following the appalling attacks of which some of them have recently been victims last two weekend.

“Officials are only men and women, and as such, they can make mistakes, as leaders, mistaking their recruitment or strategic choices for their club, as coaches, committing errors bad choices tactics or team composition, as players, missing a crucial veneer or falling a trial balloon, etc.

“Reason must absolutely prevail over passion, so that together we can work to eradicate such behaviour in our federation.”

It also reveals a decrease in the number of officials in recent years, though a recent drive has seen more than 50 adults and children come forward in various leagues and committees.

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