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Question Number: 29106

League Specific 1/16/2015

RE: Rec Mens O30 Final Adult

Amy Lloyd of Santa Cruz, California USofA asks...

This question is a follow up to question 29080

One referee who was previously suspended by professionalism committee recommendation arising from a complaint by his assistant in a boys match of violent conduct toward players who the referee was keeping separate, admitted to abusive behaviour toward a player in a mens O30 final. Another hearing was conducted by the [same] professionalism chair, and this time, the chair decided that either of the two actions - suspension, or explusion. The committee was made of referees (peers) who have in the past have notified the assignors to 'not put on same team' with this referee. Are there any guidelines that a professionalism chair should follow? As such professionalism hearings are 'due process,' shouldnt there be a proper protocol to follow?

When is expulsion a better action? And are there any recourses available within USSF?

Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

If the league was not-affiliated with US Soccer or one of its members, the matter is left to the individual league's disciplinary committee.

Referee associations should have Disciplinary Rules and Guidelines that provide for notice and a hearing whenever a referee engages in unethical behavior or misconduct.

For affiliated matches, allegations of abuse towards or by the referee should be referred to the State Referee Committee (or a subcommittee) for a hearing and decision. The USSF policy and procedures can be found on the website (search for Policy 531-10). The State Referee Committee often publishes supplemental guidelines and procedures.

Not knowing the details, I cannot opine as to what is the just resolution of the matter.

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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Amy
All affiliated referees bodies have proper protocol and procedures set down to deal with complaints, discipline. Those guidelines and procedures are published by the relevant associations and they set out clearly a fair and transparent process. . The procedure also sets out the appeal process by either party which can go all the way to national and indeed if so inclined can go international.
For interest, in our association the matter can be dealt with at a local level then moving to regional and finally to the national body. If a party to the process is unhappy it can be appealed always to the next level all the way to the national body and if still unhappy any decision can be appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In any quasi legal process discipline is dealt with initially by peers, generally those in positions such as chair, secretary, discipline secretary, exec members etc. One always expects that those given the responsibility by their peers and organisation will act as expected in discharging their responsibilities . I have sat on discipline panels relating to misconduct and the accepted process was followed with no concern expressed about the fairness of the process. Just because someone does not want to be on the same team does not mean that they will ignore the facts of the case which can always be subject to scrutiny at a higher level. Establishing the facts and the truth is what is key.

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