A police officer described by a judge as a
"spectator from hell" after grabbing the throat of a football
referee could be banned from watching his son play.
Canterbury football's governing body Mainland Football has
recommended to its board that Christchurch Senior Constable
Keith Rose is banned for up to two years after he admitted
abusing a ref and assaulting a referee assistant while
Assistant ref Hayden McCabe was so traumatised by the June 29
incident that he has not officiated a game since.
Rose, a 59-year-old with 42 years' service, was discharged
without conviction and ordered to pay $1500 in emotional harm
compensation. He was placed on restricted duties as he
awaited the outcome of an internal police enquiry and a code
of conduct hearing.
Rose had been sitting in the main grandstand at ASB Park in
Christchurch to watch his son play for Western against
Cashmere Technical in a premier league match.
He made "a number of adverse comments regarding the
performance of the referees during the game", in which his
son's team lost 4-1.
After the heated match, he "collided" with Mr McCabe and
grabbed his throat.
Mainland Football fined Western $2000 over the affair and
suspended its coach Julian Morris for two games for his
team's abuse of the referee.
Mainland Football's judiciary committee determined that those
penalties were sufficient.
But chief executive Mike Coggan says the matter has been
referred to its board to act against Mr Rose.
The board will consider a recommendation at next month's
meeting that Mr Rose be banned from attending any further
fixtures at ASB Park for up to two years.
The fact that Mr McCabe hadn't officiated after the attack
was a major concern for the governing body.
"We don't have enough good quality, young referees anyway, so
we have to make sure we take quite strong stands and take a
zero tolerance policy," said Mr Coggan.
Last football season was plagued with a number of serious
incidents, which included one club, Waimak United being fined
a record $4000 after officials deceived a disciplinary panel
looking into the case of a player pushing a ref.
Mainland Football is now planning a sideline behaviour
campaign, closely aligned with New Zealand Football's Respect
programme, to stamp out bad behaviour.
The governing body has identified the 11 - 13 age groups,
with over-bearing parents and inexperienced coaches, as
needing the closest assistance.
Sideline ambassadors, a poster campaign, promotional work,
and more coaching of coaches are all part of Mainland's
Footballs plans to clean up the game.
"We're going to focus on that 11, 12, 13, age group where
we've got mass numbers of mums and dads watching their kids
play, and where the result often becomes more important than
the development of their kid," Mr Coggan said.
"Most kids don't want to hear dad yelling at them. And it
comes back to the role of the coach; the way he acts, the way
he talks to mums and dads and the kids. We need to change the
way coaches go about things."
While the younger age groups will be focus of education,
Mainland Football says it will come down hard on older
players who step out of line.
"The message is: if you come before the judiciary committee
this year, expect a hefty suspension or fine for the club."