South Coast referees are threatening to abandon Group Seven games and walk off the field after officials complained of abuse.
This week, Group Seven Referees Association president Paul Lees issued a stern warning to the South Coast rugby league competition saying abuse towards referees won't be tolerated.
"If any club official, supporter or parent behind the bench area is yelling at the touch judges or centre referee about decisions made, onside/offside calls or any berating at all that is aimed at the referees, I have instructed the officials to get the ground manager to remove them from the ground," Lees said in a statement release by the Group Seven Referees Association.
"If this were to happen, the referee shouldn't restart the game until those people have been removed.
"And if they refuse to co-operate, the referee is to blow the whistle like it's full-time and abandon the game."
Lees himself actually stopped the Shellharbour Sharks and Kiama Knights game at Ron Costello Oval on Sunday in the 38th minute, calling the host's ground manager over to explain these procedures.
We need to stamp out this abusive culture and behaviour [towards referees] by taking strong and affirmative action.Group Seven Referees Association president Paul Lees.
"We need to stamp out this abusive culture and behaviour [towards referees] by taking strong and affirmative action," Lees said.
"We will stand by you and support you when this happens no matter what."
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