Despite a clear and strong warning that the KCRFU and KSRFUR will not tolerate Match Official Abuse (MOA), we are already this season seeing cases of this serious offence being brought before the Discipline Panels (Adult and Age Grade). Alarmingly, many of the MOA incidents are arising from the touchline, particularly on Sunday mornings at Youth and Minis events. The 2022-23 season highlighted the impact of what now seems to be a pervasive yet unwanted feature of our game, which last season resulted in 7 referees no longer wanting to officiate, after having been subjected to criticism and abuse. This is completely unacceptable and needs to stop NOW.

Clubs are instructed immediately and without fail to bring this matter to the attention of all officials, coaches, players, volunteers and spectators (be they parents / guardians or others) and to warn them as to the good behaviour and respect for match officials that is expected.

The Discipline Panels are alive to this problem and for proven cases, and regardless of whether an individual perpetrator is identified or not, they will hold clubs to account with a view to imposing  severe sanctions. Any such sanctions may not be restricted to a particular section or age group as discipline is regarded as a ‘whole club’ issue. Therefore, sanctions may include financial penalties, docking of 1st XV points, suspension of coaches and expulsion from competitions.

Nigel Fray

Hon. Secretary & Director of Governance