The recent video depicting the attack on a female referee following the FC Kallon (Female) versus Mogbwemo Queens match in the Women’s Premier League was profoundly distressing. Such reprehensible incidents have no place in sports, and we must all unite to condemn them unequivocally.
The safety and well-being of referees, particularly female referees, must be a top priority for the Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA), the Sierra Leone Women’s Premier League Board and all stakeholders involved in the beautiful game. The attack on the referee underscores the urgent need for improved security measures and a firm stance against such despicable acts.
We urge the SLFA to conduct an independent and thorough investigation into the incident. The perpetrators must be identified, and the strongest possible action should be taken against the club involved and any individuals responsible for the attack. The police must also play their part in ensuring justice is served by prosecuting those involved.
Video evidence of the incident should be utilised to its fullest extent to bring the culprits to justice. We cannot allow such behaviour to go unpunished, as it undermines the integrity of the sport and poses a significant threat to the safety of referees and players alike.
Moving forward, we must implement enhanced security measures to safeguard referees during matches. This includes increased presence of security personnel, better training for handling volatile situations, and stricter enforcement of penalties for misconduct.
Proactive steps must be taken to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Education and awareness campaigns promoting respect for referees and fostering a culture of good sportsmanship are essential.
We must stand together against violence and intimidation in all its forms. Let us send a clear message that such behaviour will not be tolerated and that we are committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all participants.