BFA ends silence on referees
The Bermuda Football Association has broken its three-day silence on the referees work stoppage by saying that it abhors the events that took place at Devonshire Recreation Club on Saturday night.
The release also confirmed the postponement of matches scheduled for tonight, tomorrow and Friday but noted that, after talks with the Bermuda Referees Association and other stakeholders, the officials will be back on duty as of this Saturday.
Referees had downed tools on Sunday after visiting referee Steffon Dewar, of Jamaica, was abused by players and spectators during and after the match between Devonshire Cougars and Devonshire Colts at Devonshire Recreation Club.
The statement reads:
“Following the postponement of this past weekend’s matches a meeting was held on Tuesday evening March 1 between Executive Officers of the Bermuda Football Association consisting of president Mark Wade, first vice-president and chairman of competitions committee Shannon Burgess, second vice-president, chairman of referees committee Crenstant Williams, David Sabir, general secretary, Bermuda Referees Association president D. Lloyd Christopher, vice-president Dwight Jackson and Zayna Foggo, BRA treasurer.
“The meeting addressed misunderstandings regarding roles and responsibilities of clubs, referees, disciplinary procedures, match day operations, and the overall position of the BFA regarding antisocial behaviour among players and fans. There was unanimous agreement that we must continue tackling those elements that negatively impact football and we call upon the football family to play their role in safeguarding football as we move closer to the end of the season.
“Following the meeting, the BRA representatives called an emergency meeting of their members whereby they decided to resume officiating as of Saturday, March 5.
“The incident at the Devonshire Recreation Club highlighted that we can’t lessen our resolve against activities that undermine the significance of football to many people throughout our community. Clubs are reminded of their duty to protect their environments and to ensure that matchday protocols are adhered to. Spectators are reminded that they have a role to play in preserving community integrity and to respect one another as football matches are not the place to demonstrate bad behaviour. Players are reminded to exhibit fair play and respect the Laws of the Game. Referees have a duty to administer the Laws of the Game. If everyone played their part, then the football season can continue and come to a successful completion without any further interruptions.
“The BFA also wishes to make it abundantly clear that it abhors the behaviour displayed that resulted in football coming to a temporary halt. The reports of the incidents are being collated and the file prepared for submission to the BFA’s independent disciplinary committee to consider sanctions for any breaches and offences committed.“