Follow us for the latest updates

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
ACC Web AD.gif

Campaign urges fans to clap referees onto the pitch

A campaign from Ref Support is urging fans of grassroots football teams to clap referees onto the football pitch once it returns after lockdown.

Campaign urges fans to clap referees onto the pitch

Dubbed 'Give The Ref A Hand', it is hoped that the new initiative will help to end the barrage of negativity aimed at referees and other match officials during games.

Referee welfare has been in the spotlight recently following the online abuse that was directed at Premier League official Mike Dean, including death threats, that led to him requesting not to officiate a game the following weekend - a request that was granted.

The charity's CEO, Martin Cassidy, spoke to Sky Sports News about the new campaign and asked fans to consider the negative impact that abusing amateur referees could have.

"Now that the government has announced we can all get back to what we love - playing football - I just think that with all the negativity that has been around, with the Mike Dean incident and what happened with Darren Drysdale - we just want to be able to try and turn these negative events into refocusing events and turn it into an outcome that is positive," said Cassidy.

"It's called the 'Give The Ref A Hand' campaign. We want all clubs at grassroots level, or higher, to clap the referees out on our first weekend back and to just give them a hand to make football positive for everyone.

"Let's come back [after lockdown] and make the game better together.

"We've talked about it for a while now and we have kept it under the radar. We've talked to a lot of clubs, a lot of leagues, and nobody has said no.

"The only thing anyone has said to is, 'the FA hasn't told us about it.' This is our chance as a grassroots-focused charity to say, 'we're going to take ownership of this. The national governing body has got their own challenges.

"Let us take charge, let us do something to make the game better."