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Question Number: 31368

Law 5 - The Referee 3/19/2017

RE: Competitive Adult

Rick Hartley of Leeds , West Yorkshire United Kingdom asks...

Can a referee swear at a player ? When a player asks for his reason for a decision?

Answer provided by Referee Richard Dawson

Hi Rick,
can he swear, absolutely! Should he? Not a good idea! Referees are expected to act in a calm dignified professional manner as befitting the respect their position commands. That said as a human being when the normal characteristics of a volunteer experiencing frustration and irritability set in and out pops an expletive particularly if it is a result of constant dissenting and nagging over that or other decisions should anyone be that surprised it does occur? In a perfect world no referee should swear at a player. In a perfect match no player should question a referee decision. It is not a perfect world but if a question is asked politely in a time and place where the referee is not distracted threatened or confused a player can get a less nasty reply but asking questions during a match is generally not the right time as play is most often continuous. That said acting responsibly is a requirement of ALL including the referee and being held accountable is something the league needs to deal with.
Cheers



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Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Rick
Referees are expected to act at all times in a professional manner. Swearing at a player by a referee would be totally unacceptable behaviour and if proven then the referee can expect sanction.
The difficulty is getting the incident independently verified and reported and therein is the problem. For the referee that acts unprofessionally and in such manner he plays on the fact that it is difficult to prove it if said in a way that only a few players hear it.
I would advise any club to report the incident and give the facts. While it may be difficult to prove a pattern of such reported behaviour will result in action being taken.
I might add that like any walk of life there are a few that bring their group into disrepute. Pick any service such as police, schools, hospital and there are always a few that act unprofessionally.




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