Football Coaches Australia (FCA) are committed to forging a new era of co-operation, respect and understanding between coaches and referees in the interests of advancing Australian football.
We acknowledge that relations between coaches and referees have been regularly strained in the A-League as a result of the competitive pressures placed on coaches and the difficult job of being a referee.
In recent years, coaches have been some of the most passionate advocates of the need to improve refereeing standards in this country. Occasionally, this passion can spill over.
During the post-match press conference of Wellington Phoenix’s 1-1 draw with Perth Glory earlier this month, Phoenix head coach Mark Rudan made comments that questioned the decision-making of referee Adam Kersey during the match.
Since that time, Mark has made contact with Football Federation Australia’s Director of Referees Ben Wilson to explain his remarks. As such, the matter was considered closed.
Subsequently, the Professional Football Referees Association (PFRA) registered its disappointment with the remarks.
We are firm believers that all stakeholders in the football community should increase their levels of respect towards referees. It is not only the responsibility of coaches, but players, administrators and fans alike.
But we also request that referees act with the same level of respect towards the rest of the game’s stakeholders.
FCA was very disappointed to see a senior member of the PFRA quoted in the media on Friday saying they would instruct referees to block out the “Respect” badge on their jerseys this weekend.
FCA believes that such action is overtly provocative and serves to undermine respect, rather than foster it. It is also an unnecessarily immature act, expressly directed towards one of our members.
We urge the PFRA reconsider their stance and opt for a more proactive and considered position should they seek to build more productive relationships with the rest of the football community going forward.
For further media information or to arrange an interview, please contact Glenn Warry on firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 417 346 312