Clubs offside with Barr over ref abuse
The ACT Government will consider tying sports funding to clubs' willingness to combat abuse of match officials.
Rugby league referees in the Canberra Raiders Cup have this week threatened to boycott games because of verbal abuse.
It has now emerged a Canberra soccer club is facing expulsion from the junior competition if abuse from its supporters and players continues.
The Government offers training for sporting clubs to help managers and organisers deal with abuse and poor behaviour. About 70 people have done the course so far.
But Sports Minister Andrew Barr says he will examine whether funding grants should be conditional on clubs undertaking such behaviour programs.
"We may look at that because we've offered these as voluntary courses that the Government has funded," he said.
"Although it's pleasing that there are about 70 people from various sporting organisations who have undertaken the training, we need to expand the reach of this.
"I certainly would consider making it a condition of funding if we don't see a very significant uptake of participation."
Mr Barr says it may also be worth extending the program to players and coaches.
He says the whole community needs to be involved in stamping out unacceptable behaviour.
"It's only a small minority of people who are behaving poorly, but it really is up to the rest of us to take a leadership role here in working to stamp out this sort of behaviour, to say that it is unacceptable and badly impacting on people's enjoyment of community based sport," he said.
"As a bystander, do you just sit back and ignore that poor behaviour? Or do you speak up and say something and say it's just not acceptable?
"I think we owe it to those who volunteer their times as referees, as match officials as organisers of competitions to stand up for them against this sort of poor behaviour."Source: ABC