Football player Vinícius Júnior from Real Madrid suffer from racial abuse during the game between Real Madrid and Valencia in La Liga on May 22. The racial abuse led to conflicts in the game and Vinícius Júnior get a red card for attacking his opponents after the racial abuse.
Racism is unacceptable in the game, therefore, soccer referees should deal with it carefully and timely to prevent it escalate into conflict.
Dealing with racial abuse against players as a soccer referee requires prompt action to ensure the safety and well-being of the players. Here are the steps that soccer referees can take when faced with racial abuse against players during a game:
1. Recognize and identify racial abuse
Be vigilant and attentive to any racial slurs, derogatory comments, or discriminatory behavior directed at players based on their race or ethnicity. It’s important to be able to distinguish between passionate banter and racially abusive language or actions.
2. Stop the game if necessary
If you witness racial abuse happening on the field, immediately stop the game by blowing your whistle and signaling for a pause. This intervention serves to address the situation and prevent it from escalating further.
3. Address the players involved
Approach the players involved in the racial abuse and firmly instruct them to stop their behavior. Use clear and authoritative language to convey that such actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
4. Seek assistance from team officials
Engage the coaches or team officials of the players involved in the abuse. Inform them of the situation and request their cooperation in resolving the issue. They should be responsible for managing the behavior of their players.
5. Gather information and document the incident
Make a note of the specific details regarding the racial abuse, including the players involved, any witnesses, and the nature of the comments or actions. This information will be crucial for reporting and subsequent actions.
6. Eject or sanction the offenders
Depending on the severity of the racial abuse and the rules and regulations of the league or organization, you may need to issue a red card or other appropriate sanctions against the offenders. Follow the proper disciplinary procedures outlined by the governing body.
7. Report the incident
Report the racial abuse incident to the relevant authorities, such as the league or federation, providing them with a comprehensive account of the incident and the actions taken. They will initiate an investigation and take appropriate measures.
8. Offer support to the affected player
Show empathy and support to the player who was subjected to racial abuse. Offer them an opportunity to express their concerns and provide any necessary assistance or resources, such as counseling or further guidance.
9. Follow up on the incident
Stay involved in the process by cooperating with the league or organization’s investigation. Ensure that appropriate actions are taken against the offenders and that measures are implemented to prevent future incidents.
It’s important for referees to be proactive in addressing racial abuse and promoting a safe and inclusive environment for all participants in the game. By taking decisive action and reporting incidents, referees contribute to the eradication of racial discrimination from the sport.