Now is the time for action from FA
Kick-off: YOU cannot stop Sunday football taking place, but the Football Association must show its teeth before it generates into a complete mess.Yobs who get their Sunday morning kicks out of making life a misery for referees and opponents must be banished from the game for good.
By Elvin King
YOU cannot stop Sunday football taking place, but the Football Association must show its teeth before it generates into a complete mess.
Yobs who get their Sunday morning kicks out of making life a misery for referees and opponents must be banished from the game for good.
Statistics prove that the situation is getting worse every year. Yet, apart from a couple of increases in fines, no serious attempt has been made by the FA to clean up the parks game.
The situation is a national one, but incidents of verbal and physical abuse to match officials and the increased number of red and yellow cards prove that the Ipswich area is worse off than many similar towns.
No wonder qualified officials are covering fewer games.
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With their enormous resources it is time the FA set up special Sunday soccer regional committees to ensure trouble makers are weeded out.
They could make themselves
conspicuous in parks on Sunday mornings and have regular liaison sessions with clubs.
Players with poor records should be included on a probationary list and watched closely. When they offend again, they should be banned from all soccer for life.
Saturday soccer also has its problems, but in general clubs are better organised and better run and players have some degree of talent.
This is not to deny those with limited playing ability a game of football, but it does these devotees no good to have to mix with those who only look upon park football as a pre-requisite for quite a few pints in a pub on a Sunday afternoon.
Nobody else is going to stop the rot. So stand up FA and be counted. The demise of Sunday football is eating at the core of the game.
Pick out some of your best men, give them teeth and resources and clean up our Sunday soccer.
It is incidents like the one re-told by stalwart Taverners player Pat Elvin that highlights the current hopelessness of it all.
He was running the line for Taverners reserves in the Select Technical Services League against AFC Rivers in Division Three. Four Rivers players were sent off and
17-year-old referee Carl Fitch had to be escorted from the field.
Elvin, who has played 700 games for Taverners, said: "The referee did nothing wrong. In fact he had a marvellous game and I commend him.
"Yet he was given stick for
virtually every decision he made. I can only think that the opposition thought he was young and not up to it.
"He stuck to the task despite there being no let-up. He stood up well, although he was a bit shaky at the end and along with Jerry Thorpe, who was managing a
nearby game, I escorted him off the field at the end.
"We won 5-3, but at one time Rivers were 3-1 up. They were silly as they would surely have gone on and won if they had concentrated on football."