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All in sport must commit to respect for referees and officials – Dillon

Sporting organisations to appear before Oireachtas Committee

30th November 2021 - Alan Dillon, TD

Everyone involved in sport must commit to respect for referees and officials according to Fine Gael TD and former Mayo senior footballer, Alan Dillon.

As Deputy Chair of the Oireachtas Committee on Tourism, Culture, Arts, Sport and Media, Deputy Dillon wrote to sporting organisations inviting them before the committee to discuss the problem of abuse of referees and officials.  That meeting will now take place tomorrow (Wednesday, 1st December).

“This meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport is an opportunity to hear first-hand the experiences of abuse towards referees, officials, stewards and players and discuss what is being done to counteract it.

“I believe everyone in sport must commit to respect for referees and officials, as well as opposing teams.

“Unfortunately, poor treatment of referees and officials is a pervasive problem in sport. While I am aware of some progressive initiatives to date such as the Give Respect – Get Respect awareness campaign in Gaelic games, these efforts need to be stepped-up.

“Recently soccer referees in the North Dublin Schoolboys/Girls League (NDSL) and Metropolitan Girls League (MGL) withdrew their services due to ‘constant abuse’ and ‘threatening behaviour’. To see the matches for young people cancelled for this reason, particularly when we are trying to encourage greater participation of girls in sport, is completely unacceptable.

“None of us could play the sports we love so much without the participation of referees and officials. They should never feel threatened, scared or face abuse for trying to facilitate and assist in sport, and we must do everything we can to stamp it out.”

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