14-year-old referee verbally abused by parents after disallowing goal
It's football fans' first instinct to turn on the referee when a decision goes against their team. For one young referee, being verbally abused by spectators almost made her give up officiating matches.
Emily Dyke, a 14-year-old schoolgirl from Guisborough, North Yorkshire, UK, had disallowed a goal after deeming that it had not crossed the line during a match for children under the age of eight. Her decision incurred the wrath of parents who believed that the goal should have stood.
Ms Dyke soon found herself at the receiving end of a tirade of abuse. The Guardian reported that she was called a "f****** disgrace" and told "you don't know what you're f****** doing" by furious parents.
She was so deeply affected to the point where she started having second thoughts about being a referee. According to The Independent, Ms Dyke left the match in tears.
She took to Facebook to express how she felt about the way she was treated shortly after. Ms Dyke wrote: “I have recently suffered some verbal abuse from people while refereeing and have found it very difficult to deal with to the point I’m now considering not doing it anymore."
"I’m not looking for sympathy or anything like that. I’m wanting people to realise that I’m just a child doing something I love. I want everyone to take a look at their children and put yourself in my shoes when the abuse is being said."
Her father, Mr Paul Dyke who managed to talk her out of giving up on refereeing, criticised the parents for their behaviour. The 36-year-old confronted those who had sworn at his daughter after the match, but was told that referees "have to get used to it (being verbally abused)".
He said: “Emily was refereeing in an under-8s tournament. The keeper spilled the ball and it looked like it had crossed the line. She couldn’t see it and didn’t give the goal. Parents on the touchline were shouting and calling her names. It was awful. She got upset on the pitch."
Mr Dyke believes that his daughter is bound to make some mistakes while refereeing but doesn't think that she should be punished for them.
He said: "There’s no linesman with a flag, the referees have to make the decisions on their own, so yes, she will get some wrong, but who doesn’t?”
Sources: The Guardian, The Independent