Mac­cabi ‘abu­sive’ say refs

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY ROBYNROSEN

MAC­CABI LEAGUE foot­ballers are the most abu­sive of all to deal with, ac­cord­ing to a num­ber of ref­er­ees who say it is putting them off the game.

Ref­er­ees have said that play­ers in the Mac­cabi South­ern Foot­ball League (MSFL) are among the “worst” they have ex­pe­ri­enced.

War­wick Blake, 37, be­gan ref­er­ee­ing the Sun­day league less than a year ago but said he has al­ready en­dured abuse and vi­o­lence. Last month he re­turned to his car af­ter a match to find all four of his tyres had been let down.

Mr Blake, who also ref­er­ees nonJewish games, said: “Lots of ref­er­ees don’t want to play in Mac­cabi. They are shouted at and in­tim­i­dated. This league is the worst I’ve ref­er­eed in.”

Nigel Kyte, who be­gan ref­er­ee­ing in the MSFL in 1975, said that he knows a num­ber of ref­er­ees who “won’t touch Jewish foot­ball”.

David Wolff, league chair­man, said: “There are ver­bal prob­lems in the Mac­cabi league but very lit­tle vi­o­lence. What hap­pened to War­wick was un­ac­cept­able — but it was also a one-off.

“We’re not al­lowed to touch dis­ci­pline. It’s all dealt with by the FA.”

David Fowkes, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Lon­don FA, said that any abu­sive be­hav­iour is dealt with “ap­pro­pri­ately”.

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