Williams sends clear message on behaviour towards match officials
Crenstant Williams has warned he will not tolerate intimidating behaviour towards the island’s match officials as the Bermuda Football Association Referees Committee continues to wrestle with dwindling numbers.
The chairman of the referees committee found himself at the centre of unsightly scenes at PHC Field on Wednesday evening when he became embroiled in a heated exchange with Village players and staff who had surrounded referee Amaury Majors in the aftermath of their elimination from the Dudley Eve Trophy in a semi-final defeat to Devonshire Cougars.
While Williams conceded a failure to indicate the amount of time added on as Village chased the game in the closing stages – the over-riding bone of contention of head coach Kenny Thompson – he took particular exception to the overzealous remonstrations, which resulted in captain Tahmi Williams being shown a red card.
“The behaviour towards my officials at the end of the match was not acceptable,” said Williams, who revealed measures have been put in place to avoid a repeat of the situation going forward.
“I understand the frustration around not knowing how much added time there was, but I don’t expect players to surround officials and shout profanities at him, there is no justification for that.
“Additional time is always at the discretion of the referee but I’ll accept that there was no communication regarding the added-on time, which was an oversight of the officials. However, the reaction afterwards was not acceptable.
“Could I have handled the situation from my involvement differently? Yes, but I could not just sit there and allow their players to behave in that way. I felt I had to protect the referee, because he did not cost them the game.
“Matters were talked over between myself and Kenny and we both said what we felt we needed to at the time.
“I’m confident we both have a better level of understanding and things will be put in place going forward to improve communication between the officials and teams. The referees committee have already made provisions to avoid that kind of situation happening again.”
While that particular matter has seemingly been resolved, Williams reiterated concerns about the potential threat of losing more officials, having previously warned that numbers are already at a “critical stage”.
“If we keep getting situations like this, we will keeping losing officials,” added Williams who revealed the Association’s high hopes for Majors to make his mark on the international stage.
“Concacaf have told us that Amaury could go on to officiate at World Cup level so his potential is clear. That is why we have to give him those types of games between two top teams in a semi-final.
“However, with situations like that we risk discouraging him and then we are in danger of losing another official when we already don’t have enough.
“Errors will inevitably be made by officials in games going forward but feelings towards them should never be made in public, that was the major frustration for me.”