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Referees mull walkout over abuse on the pitch

Cayman’s football referees are mulling a walkout to protest abuse they’re facing on the pitch.

There has been a spike in verbal abuse and threats of violence against match official in domestic leagues, according to a press release issued 3 March by the Cayman Islands Football Association.

Cayman 27 has learned the Cayman Islands Referees Association is considering a strike to bring attention to the issue.

“We’re experiencing not only harassment, we’re talking about threats, death threats and also physical threats,” said Alfredo Whittaker, head of CIFA’s Referees Department. “So coaches haven’t been able to address the players. They’re actually agreeing with the players. And because of the way the layout is on the stadiums here, we start to have it from the spectators.”

Whittaker says he believes the issue can be resolved before any walkout takes place. CIFA says it plans to meet with clubs, the Referees Association and the CIFA Disciplinary Committee. It’s also requesting the Referees Committee reinstate a programme where match officials meet with clubs regularly to discuss the laws of the game.

“We have to find a way — all of us together — to find a solution to these problems because we don’t want them to escalate anymore.”

About the author

Kevin Morales

Kevin Morales

Cayman 27 News Director Kevin Morales is an award-winning journalist with more than 12 years of experience. Kevin is a Milwaukee, Wis., native. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 2005 from the University of Minnesota. He's a proud father and a loyal fan of the Green Bay Packers, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks and U of M Golden Gophers.

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