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Pledge to end abuse of referees

Capital Football claims it is determined to stamp out abuse towards referees, after an under-18s boys' game was called off with more than 10 minutes left last weekend.

The referee ended the game at Wanniassa on Saturday when a Woden Valley Lightning player he had sent off for repeated use of offensive language stood on the sideline and refused to leave the playing arena.

Under the protocols for players who are given a red card, the referee had no choice but to call off the game against Tuggeranong White and had to be escorted off the ground by parents and spectators.

A judiciary hearing will be held this week to determine if the player will be given any extra suspension.

Already this season, Capital Football has come down hard on players who abuse referees, with a Tuggeranong United player from the club's National Premier League team handed a six-game ban for a similar offence.

Capital Football chief executive Heather Reid said there was no place in the game for players lashing out physically or verbally at officials.


"Capital Football does not condone any verbal abuse of match officials from players, club officials or supporters,'' Reid said.

''The matter will be dealt with via the normal disciplinary regulation process following the receipt of the report from the match referee and any other officials involved in the game.''

Barry Hughes, a parent of one of the Tuggeranong players, saw the incident and said Capital Football and coaches needed to do more to prevent abuse towards officials.

''The people controlling the game, especially the coaches, need to be responsible for the players,'' he said.

''I felt obliged to run on to the pitch after the game for the safety of the referee.''

An official from the Woden Valley club said she was unable to comment until the matter was resolved.

Meanwhile, Tuggeranong United's National Premier League coach John Bull has stood down after last weekend's 2-0 loss to Belconnen United.

Bull handed the reigns to assistant coach Martin Lategui for Saturday's fixture with the AIS.

United is second-last with one win and a draw from nine games.