FOOTBALL Mid North Coast will crack down on abuse of referees this season.
At recent Football Mid North Coast club meetings concern was raised about the number of referees leaving the game because of abuse.
"A line needs to be drawn in the sand,'' Football MNC club and referee development officer Justin McIntyre said.
He added the message is really simple for players and team officials.
“Keep it shut, or you will be red carded and then serve an extended suspension,” McIntyre said.
“Players and team officials can lead by example by playing football and not having a go at the referee every time they disagree with a decision. The team captain can check with the referee on the run if need be.”
FMNC clubs will also be taking a stronger stance against poor sideline behavior from spectators, with sanctions to be used more regularly.
“We don't always agree with decisions match officials make, but the culture that has been around that it's okay to constantly have a go at the referee is going to change,'' McIntyre added.
“From 2019 on no player or team official should be surprised if they are red carded and then serve an extended suspension for abuse aimed towards the referees. Let's clean up the game and keep more referees involved.''