Football officials ‘fed up’ of abuse following another assault
February 10, 2023

Football officials ‘fed up’ of abuse following another assault

TEMPERS ERUPTED LAST Wednesday night, February 8, from members on the bench of the Volcanoes team resulting in one player striking assistant referee, Justin Bullock.

This was the second occasion in two months, that a Football match official was being physically assaulted by a player.

On November 6, 2022, referee, Rohan Primus received facial lacerations, after Greiggs FC player, Shemorie Baptiste attacked him at the Chili Playing in a first division game of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation’s National Club Championships Greiggs’ opposition at that time, was SV United.

Last Wednesday’s incident was also in the first division, and involved SV United and Volcanoes.

The attack on Bullock left referee, Shadel Cyrus bringing a premature end to the match.

The guilty Volcanoes player was seated on the bench, but was not part of the match, according to reports, because of “injury”.

At the time of the incident, the match was level at two goals apiece.

Prior to Cyrus’ decision to call the match, she had to caution some players of the Volcanoes team for deliberately kicking away the ball, after a penalty was awarded to SV United.

During that period of the melee, a fourth official, Rohan Primus, had a ball kicked in his direction from a Volcanoes player, allegedly with mal intent.

More was to come, as Bullock was again attacked when he exited the Victoria Park, allegedly by another member of the Volcanoes team.

The physical attack on Bullock, has incensed president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Referees Association, Elron Lewis.

A fuming Lewis told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday, Thursday, February 9, “It is ridiculous now, something has to give… We are fed up of this type of abuse… It is one thing to verbally abuse, but it is another to attack us physically”.

He underscored that withdrawal of service from the National Club Championships remains a viable option for his members.

Continuing to express his disgust over the latest episode, Lewis said: “We are awaiting the results of the investigations and the penalty meted out to the guilty players because it seems that the three years ban is not a deterrent…”.

Lewis’ comments were in direct reference to the three year ban imposed on Baptiste by the disciplinary committee of the SVGFF, for his transgressions last November.

Apart from the ban, his club, Greiggs FC was fined $1000 and placed on conditional suspension, while Baptiste is required to participate in all the prescribed remedies of the disciplinary committee as a condition to resume his football career.

Additionally, Greiggs FC had to submit the names of two members of their club or community to the Referees Association for training; be engaged in conflict resolution intervention; and fully reimburse Primus for medical expenses incurred as a result of the incident last year.

Meanwhile, the disciplinary committee will be activated and will adjudicate on matters emerging from last Wednesday’s incidents, with the necessary sanctions imposed on the party or parties found to be guilty.