By Nji Nelson Chefor
Sports writer, kick442.com Cameroon
The safety of match officials during regional football league matches have come under the spotlight after several of them have persistently been attacked physically, verbally.
The case of the North West regional league has persistently been a call for concern since the start of the football season in the region.
Numerous cases of attacks on referees and their assistants have been recorded.
It shocking that during a cup a Cameroon match between Vision Sports and Rainbow FC, the coach of Vision Sport outrightly insulted match officials, calling them names and even tell his players to kick their opponents to ‘kill’. Even after he was shown a red card, his behavior still sent wrong signals across as many wondered if a coach worthy of the name will behave that way.
Coaches spend all their time shouting and making slangs to the match officials instead of coaching their players.
Come to think of it that team officials of Dream Soccer Academy and their players attacked match officials after their match with some players even pouring sand into the eyes of the referee. Disgusting to say the least.
How will these players not insult the referees when their coaches openly say their the ‘office’ has an agenda against them. With all these, one is tempted to say that some of these players behave just as their coaches.
Day four matches of the North West regional league were played on Sunday April 11, 2021, and another case of assault on match officials was recorded.
The first assistant referee received a punch on the face from a supporter who has been identified as that of Kumbo Strikers.
From match reports, the referee of the match between Kumbo Strikers and Kilum in consultation with his first assistant ruled out a ‘goal’ for Kumbo Strikers. This created a scene and the coach of Kumbo Strikers instead of instilling order in his team, made unfounded claims that the said assistant referee has received 5000frs on the spot and that’s why the goal was disallowed.
For someone who is representing the region in the General Assembly of FECAFOOT to behave in that manner, then many things remain questionable.
Videos are even circulating online where the assistant referee was seen running for his life.
Many other cases have been recorded.
Football that is suppose to be a unifying factor is now being used to sow seeds of discord.
The homologation and disciplinary committee of FECAFOOT North West have a daunting task ahead of them. The law should take it’s course and perpetrators of all these unsportsmanlike behavior be sanctioned.
If nothing is done now, then we are heading for a doam.
Coaches should concentrate on instilling discipline and order within their teams instead of spending their time in their technical areas to give instructions to referees.
The association of coaches in the North West region has made efforts to bring these coaches to basic realities but it seems more needs to be done.
The referees have a body incharge of their activities at the level of the federation and cases of indiscipline are adequately treated there.
It is a duty for team officials to protect the referees in case of any interference from fans.
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