Province 'back' striking refs
Following a meeting between the executive members of the Western Province Rugby Football Union and representatives of the Western Province Referees’ Society on Wednesday evening, a meeting which lasted for six hours, the Union has issued the statement below.
“The Western Province Rugby Football Union (WPRFU) has backed the decision of the Western Province Referees Society not to officiate any club rugby games this weekend.
“Following a meeting between the WPRFU Executive and the Referees Society on Thursday, all club rugby fixtures this weekend have been postponed and a Memorandum of Agreement was signed addressing all of the concerns raised.
“WPRFU has never condoned abusive behaviour towards referees and will continue to take active steps to deal with any such incidents in club rugby in the future.
“Any club or individuals engaged in the abuse or intimidation of referees will face formal disciplinary action, which could result in referee services being withheld from future games at that club.
“Rugby cannot be played without referees and it is vital that they are respected at all levels of the game.
“In the interests of rugby, we trust that all clubs will respect and support this decision.”
The statement comes for Zelt Marais, President of the Western Province Rugby Football Union.
*The chairman of the Western Province Referees’ Society, Joey Klaaste-Salmans, did not sign the Memorandum of Agreement mentioned in the press release, which questions the validity of the agreement, which one would expect to have been between two parties.
**A big positive from the meeting is the Union’s decision to form a special disciplinary committee to hear cases of referee abuse.
***Furthermore the Union decided that clubs would have a representative to attend the Society’s monthly meetings and the activities of referees in the regions in which the club falls.
****The first paragraph of the WPRFU press release states that matches scheduled for this Saturday would be postponed.