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Sport
Referee strike leads to key anti-abuse agreements

With last week’s matches being cancelled as a result of the referee strike, club rugby players, administrators and spectators came to realise the important role referees play in a very well-loved game.

Apparent referee abuse has compelled the Western Province Referees’ Society, under the leadership of Joey Klaaste-Salmans and his executive committee, to pay closer attention to an increasing phenomenon. This has had the effect of putting temporary brakes on the sport.

Verbal abuse of referees has apparently escalated to physical abuse and even life-threatening situations.

Meetings between the referees’ society and the Western Province Rugby Football Union have been positive, and clubs were requested to pledge their unity in stomping out referee abuse.

Among the points raised by the referees were:. disciplinary code cases involving referee abuse being prioritised; . referees not being appointed to clubs where physical and/or verbal abuse has been reported until the disciplinary hearing is held;. referees laying criminal charges against perpetrators of abuse; and. the union ensuring guilty players are named and shamed.

Local clubs say they have always upheld this and continuously strive to make the game enjoyable to all.

My predictions for this week’s matches, resuming as normal, are:

– St George’s to win by eight or less vs Helderberg.

– Macassar to win by three or less vs Young Peoples, as I hope they remain in Super League B.

– All Saints to win by eight or more vs Rangers to maintain their Super League B Status.

– Strand to win by six or less vs Scottsdene

– Strand United to win by six or less vs Elsies River.

– Raithby to lose by 10 or less vs Hands & Heart.

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