A Queanbeyan City Football Club spectator cornered and threatened a referee in a change room and others shouted threats and misogynistic language at another to see the NPL2 club receive the biggest fine in Canberra's soccer history, tribunal documents showed.
Supporters were found to have made threats to the referee, used discriminatory, threatening and abusive language, brought the game into disrepute and shown physical or aggressive behaviour towards them in the side's O'Connor Knights fixtures on July 10.
The club was subsequently fined $1000, docked 24 competition points from its NPL2 first grade side, ordered to prepare a risk assessment management plan, given a formal warning and ordered to communicate the guilty verdict and sanctions to its spectators via social media.
The disciplinary board, which makes decision independently of Capital Football, handed down its findings in mid-August before the full determination was released publicly.
"It should not be the case that a referee's weekend participation in the game results in fear, panic attacks, sleepless nights, anger over infringement of basic human rights, and disillusionment with the game," the tribunal's determination said.
"Offensive language directed at a referee is not acceptable. Intimidation of and threats towards referees are not acceptable. Discrimination against referees based on ethnicity and/or gender is unacceptable.
"They are not part of the game. They are not excusable because of the 'passion' involved in the game."
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Two spectators from the club were also handed individual fines, amounting to $1100, for their part and banned for one year, and the other, until the end of the 2022 season.
One QCFC spectator cornered a male ref in their change room after the under 23 match, shouting at him from close range before he was removed by other referees and ground staff.
In the first grade fixture, a female referee was subjected to more than 10 listed instances of "crass, misogynistic, discriminatory" verbal abuse during the game from spectators, including "you're a kurva" (meaning whore in Macedonian), and threats her partner better be at the game to protect her once she left the field.
The club was involved in prior offences against referees at the 2019 Kanga Cup, an under 12s match in 2020 and an NPL2 match two months before the July incident.
QCFC argued due to its volunteer-run make up it was limited in its ability to respond and it would use the second offence in 2021 as a learning moment.
The tribunal rejected this, as a similar response was provided in 2019 to use it as a lesson, and said the point deduction put them at risk of relegation and would signal the seriousness of the "repeated supporter misconduct" and deter recurrence.