I was very surprised, last week, when I received a text from the Malta Football Referees Association vice president, asking me whether I’d be interested in being a committee member with the organisation from the upcoming season. I accepted, of course.
And so, I just wanted to share with you the message I have for my fellow refereeing friends.
Last week, I was asked if I would be interested in joining the MFRA as a committee member for 2017/18. I accepted right away, without a moment’s hesitation.
This, my friends, will be a great opportunity mostly for you, not me.
Why, and how, you ask?
The answer is simple. You are the voice of the refereeing community. You have the power to make a change. You are the change.
With my help, you will get a better chance at getting your opinions and ideas across to the other members, so they can be discussed. And you can rest assured that I will be there to listen anytime.
Before continuing any further, I want to make one thing clear. Regardless of whether I get elected or not, this Monday, I promise you that I will keep giving my all in order to make our voices heard. As I’ve done over the past few months.
Below, are the main proposals which I have on my agenda:
– Number one priority is to improve safety and security standards during all football matches, at all stadiums, especially when it comes to youth matches. The two people who were with me when we met with Pierre Bonnici know that there’s already an excellent idea for an anti-abuse campaign, which is set to roll out from the upcoming season, in order to tackle the worrisome problem of abuse towards referees. Especially towards the younger officials, in the grassroots sector.
– A drastic change in the disciplinary procedures. Although I’ve been told several times that this is easier said than done, I assure you that I will not give up so easily on it. Unless we see a change in the way disciplinary decisions are taken by the respective boards, cases of abuse – be they physical or verbal – will continue. We truly need a zero tolerance approach to any kind of abuse. The way things are right now, people who deserve a harsh comeuppance are simply getting away with murder!
I’ve paired up the third and fourth points into one, as I believe they go hand in hand with one another:
– Transparency, and better communication within the whole of the refereeing sector. Without one, you can’t have the other. If there isn’t a sense of transparency, or an open book policy, among members of the MFRA, MFA and us referees, then there wouldn’t be good communication. And vice-versa. It’s no big secret that there are still some personal vendettas within the two organisations, and this only sets us back. We have to put a stop to this as soon as possible, because it is utterly unprofessional. Yes, granted, we all have our differences; we don’t all think the same way or have the same opinions. But it’s a matter of putting those differences aside, and working together as a whole, as one, in order to build better, stronger relationships with each other. Ultimately, both the MFRA and the MFA should be working together for the good of its referees, and Maltese football in general.
Whilst looking forward to meeting most of you during this Monday’s meeting/election, I thank you for taking the time to read my message.