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Devonshire Rec reportedly take action against fan who abused official

Silence broken: BFA president Mark Wade

A spectator who abused match officials after a Premier Division game at Devonshire Recreation Club last weekend has been reportedly dealt with by the club.

Jamaican referee Steffon Dewar and his fellow assistants were doused with drinks as they made their way from the dressing room and were reportedly escorted out of the venue by security personnel after the ill-fated game between Devonshire Cougars and Devonshire Colts.

In the wake of the incident, Mark Steede, the Devonshire Recreation Club president, condemned the unruly behaviour and vowed to impose disciplinary sanctions upon those responsible for subjecting the referee to such abuse.

But since then Steede has not responded to calls and e-mails concerning the matter.

However, Mark Wade, the BFA president, shed more light yesterday when he revealed that the club has taken disciplinary action against a spectator.

“Devonshire Rec have taken action against the fan that’s been identified,” he told The Daily Hour.

“They have also identified weaknesses in their protocols.”

It remains unknown whether the club has also imposed disciplinary sanctions upon key players Drewonde Bascome and Lejuan Simmons.

The assault was sparked by the dismissals of the Cougars pair, with Simmons having to be restrained after the final whistle.

The incident led to match officials withdrawing their services, resulting in the postponement of the next day’s Premier Division and First Division fixtures, as well as matches in the FA Cup, Friendship Trophy and Shield this week.

The impasse between the BFA and Bermuda Referees Association has since been resolved, with referees expected back on the job today.

Meanwhile, Wade also revealed the BFA’s plans to meet with club captains next week to address such incidents that are plaguing the local game.

“We certainly want to address incidents like Sunday [Saturday]and try and prevent them,” he said.

“So one of the things is, as early as next week for example, I’m going to meet with the captains of the teams and we’re going to talk about the leagues themselves; how we can improve them and certainly we’ll touch on the players themselves.”

Wade also briefly spoke on measures the association has taken to combat antisocial behaviour in local football.

“The BFA has a policy called the BFA Anti-Social Behaviour Committee where every player is vetted,” he said.

“When we have the resources available we vet every player and that involves finding out whether or not they are involved in antisocial behaviour.

“Those players will be coded red, yellow or green. If you’re red then you’re immediately banned and you can appeal that if you like.

“If you’re yellow you’re invited to a meeting with the player’s status committee to discuss why and what it is that we can do.

“The policy also has an attachment, which is called the On The Ball Community Support programme, which helps to give clubs the tools to try and help players curb whatever behaviour they are involved in.

“We have those two policies that we have been able to give clubs to try and help them and what we encourage most to do is vet their own players.

“As a coach when I was coaching, I knew what my players were getting in to — whether it be good or bad, ethical or unethical — and it was part of my responsibility to try and help them improve their own lives.

“I think most of our clubs do accept the responsibility. It’s given them the tools and given them the information that they required to help people.”

Wade attributes some of the antisocial behaviour plaguing the sport to a high tolerance towards it.

“Where football has been getting the short end of the stick is we have a high tolerance for these players because they are like our children,” he added.

“If you ask a parent when do they say that’s enough and kick a child out of the house, that’s where our clubs have to strike the right balance; protecting the game versus trying to help individuals.”

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Published March 05, 2022 at 8:04 am (Updated March 05, 2022 at 8:04 am)

Devonshire Rec reportedly take action against fan who abused official

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