By Mike T. Limpag
IS violence against football officials getting too common these days?
First —and the worst—was the attack of a parent, a cop mind you, against a referee last February.
Then, a player in the 38-above division who got red-carded for insolence kicked the referee just for the fun of it last April.
Then, another referee, a source told me, got choked during the SRP football festival last May.
Jeez Luis, will a fourth official get KOed this month?
I hope not, but with the way things are going, I won’t bet my paycheck against it.
I talked with the referee who got punched and he bemoaned the lack of action from the CFA. It was also the recurring theme in the two other incidents.
The CFA really couldn’t do anything against the cop-parent, (except to perhaps provide financial support for the referee’s medical bills?). But in the last two cases, the CFA has the power to deal with it effectively and make sure players will think twice before pulling such a stunt.
The CFA can suspend erring players, as what was done before.
Back then, cases of violence were dealt with immediately. I remember writing about year-long (or longer) bans just days after the incidents.
But whether the CFA is doing that now, is a question that is yet to be answered.
Heck, even the referees don’t have a clue. They said all the CFA need to do is implement the provisions of the PFF Catalogue of Punishments.
The PFF catalogue says “all cases of violence must be punished severely” and “the tournament committee shall see to it that the punishments are carried out.”
What are the punishments?
For a player who hits the referee, assistant referee, fourth official or any tournament official (with or without cause), its indefinite suspension.
The CFA should draw the line when it comes to violence, especially against officials. Failing to do so only boosts the belief, one shared to me too many times, that CFA officials are only concerned about their own welfare.
Besides, the CFA only has to look at Joavan Fernandez to know what happens when naughty folks get away with it.
Sun Star Cebu