I quit because of abuse, says Trott
Another football referee has complained about being subjected to verbal abuse from supporters after revealing she quit officiating because of safety concerns.
Cassandra Trott, a Fifa-certified referee, walked away from the game before the Christmas break and believes the local football stakeholders have not done enough to address the issue.
“I can’t deal with [the abuse] any more,” Trott said. I don’t see the Bermuda Referees Association, Bermuda Football Association and the clubs being serious about this.
“I don’t feel that it’s a safe environment and, in my opinion, I only see it getting worst. I’ve been called more names than you can think of. You can have thick skin but after a while it affects you mentally.
“I know [the fans] do it to take you off the game, but what they are doing is causing damage.”
Trott said the concerns she and other female officials have repeatedly raised regarding abuse from fans have gone ignored by their male colleagues.
“Every time we would mention the sexist abuse we go through our male colleagues would just say, ‘Oh, OK’,” she added. “It’s like almost to say, ‘Well, this is what you signed up for so we are all in the boat together’. I want to know what boat we’re in because when are we all going to stand together and draw the line?.
“Wendy [referee Wendy Woodley] has made complaints at meetings that we females are not protected at all.
“We come out and learn the game and pass the courses and exams, but when it comes to going on the field we feel like we are not protected.
“There is no support for the females whatsoever, not from my colleagues or anyone, and I told Wendy that I feel like we are alienated.
“There have been numerous incidents that I can recall where us females have been subjected to threatening behaviour from spectators, as well as from players and coaches. The behaviour of players and coaches has improved, however, the spectators seem to be getting worse.”
The news of Trott’s decision to quit comes fresh on the heels of an incident involving referee Martin Wyer, which marred the FA Cup quarter-final between Somerset Trojans and Dandy Town at Somerset Cricket Club on Sunday.
Wyer threatened to abandon the tie after being on the receiving end of racist insults by supporters located on the lower-level porch of the clubhouse.
The Englishman was bombarded by a barrage of obscenities and, after deciding that enough was enough, advised match commissioner Manny Faria that he would halt proceedings if the behaviour persisted.
Wyer quit officiating during the 2014-15 season after being racially abused during an FA Cup quarter-final between Flanagan’s Onions and PHC Zebras at Goose Gosling Field. He also walked away from the game during the 2013-14 season after a similar incident at St John’s Field before being persuaded by colleagues to change his mind.
Trott recalls a similar incident involving retired referee Ralph Tumbridge that occurred at the beginning of her 15-year officiating career.
“I started when [Tumbridge] was getting ready to finish up and I will never forget out the Rec [Devonshire Recreation Club] one time,” she said. “Wolves fans called this guy a white pig and everything else. It scared me because I was new and if they called him that I could imagine what they are going to call me.
“It [incident] never got addressed and right after that game he finished up. ”
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