Pierluigi Collina Condemns Attack on Referee as a ‘Cancer’ in Football

Pierluigi Collina Condemns Attack on Referee as a 'Cancer' in Football

FIFA official Pierluigi Collina has strongly denounced physical and verbal assaults on referees, describing them as a “cancer that may cost football its life.” Collina’s comments come in the wake of the recent attack on Turkish referee Halil Umut Meler, who was punched in the face by Faruk Koca, then-president of Ankaragücü.

Pierluigi Collina Condemns Attack on Referee as a 'Cancer' in Football
Pierluigi Collina Condemns Attack on Referee as a ‘Cancer’ in Football

Meler, who also reported threats to his life, suffered a swollen eye and was kicked by two others after falling to the ground. Koca resigned from his position following the incident. Collina expressed his dismay, stating that neither the referee nor any individual deserves such an experience.

Highlighting the broader issue of referee abuse, Collina emphasized that violence against referees, both verbal and physical, poses a serious threat to the sport. He cited instances worldwide where referees have faced attacks beyond the field, including bombings and arson.

Collina, a former international referee who personally knows Meler, stressed that such incidents are not isolated, with thousands of referees globally facing abuse at lower levels of the game. He called attention to the underreported cases of young referees experiencing verbal and physical abuse in their early careers.

The attack on Meler has reignited discussions about the safety and well-being of referees in football, prompting Collina to reiterate the urgent need to address this pervasive issue threatening the sport’s integrity.

Rate this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *