New study discovers why referees in football are getting abuse


The war against referee abuse in football continues as new survey finds most grassroots referees put it down to a lack of respect shown at the elite level of the game.


The survey, which was conducted by Sky Sports News and the FA found that 91% of grassroots referees believe that the lack of respect shown at elite level of football trickles down to grassroots football. However, James Lisher, Senior Referee Development Officer at Essex FA, is not overly surprised by this figure and also goes on to say explain what the FA are doing to combat this issue and how they offer help and support to grassroots referees.

The study was completed by nearly 4,000 grassroots officials. However, there are over 28,000 referees at grassroots in the UK. That means only 1/7th of grassroots officials actually partook in the survey.


This Pie chart shoes show the responses given by grassroots referees about what they think is behind referee abuse in football.

One of these referees in question is Ola Omatosho, who had a couple of ideas for the FA to help with this issue of abuse towards referees.

This study was conducted as part of Support The Ref week. A scheme run by Sky Sports as they dedicate a whole week to look into what it’s like to be a referee in today’s football and what rule referees would introduce into football.

This war against abuse to referees in football has been leering it’s ugly head for several years now, and by the looks of things, we have not seen much improvement since the introduction of the FA’s ‘Respect’ campaign. Now is the time for players, managers and spectators to do their part.


Ola’s idea of coaches refereeing matches themselves is already being put into practice in some areas of the country. This coach is refereeing his team’s game in Essex.

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