SWFA > Discipline > Assaults on Match Officials

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All Match Officials, having been subjected to an alleged assault, whether physically or
verbally, must contact the South Wales Football Association Assistant Secretary - Discpline
Geoff Buckingham, 01443 218 746 to report the incident immediately following the match.

If the Assistant Secretary - Discipline is unavailable, contact MUST be made with either the General
Secretary or Assistant Secretary - Administration. This must be followed by a written report
within two days of the match.

It is also important that they notify the Secretary of the Local Referees’ Society and the
South Wales Referees’ Association as soon as possible.

REGULATIONS GOVERNING ASSAULTS ON MATCH OFFICIALS

These Regulations shall apply at all levels of the game

1. PREFERRING A CHARGE OF ASSAULT

1.1 Upon receipt of a report from a Match Official detailing an alleged assault against him, the appropriate Disciplinary Body i.e. the Football Association of Wales or Area Association will, without delay:

1.1.1 investigate the official’s report and if the Disciplinary Body is satisfied that a prima facie case of assault against a match official can be made out against the alleged offender, shall,

1.1.2 take the necessary steps to prefer a Charge of misconduct against the alleged offender. Details of the charge shall be addressed specifically to the alleged offender and be sent by First Class post to the alleged offender’s home address;

1.1.3 forward a copy of the charge by First Class post to the alleged offender’s club(s) and relevant league(s).

1.2 The alleged offender shall not participate in any football activity from the date when he is notified of the charge (verbally or in writing) until a Disciplinary Panel has heard and adjudicated on the matter.

1.3 In exceptional circumstances, the Disciplinary Body maybe in receipt of information (verbally or in writing) that an alleged assault has occurred and the particulars of the alleged incident are sufficiently serious to warrant immediate concern and therefore, immediate action. Under such circumstances, the Disciplinary Body may impose an immediate interim suspension on the player concerned prior to invoking 1.1 and 1.2 of these Regulations.

1.3.1 In deciding to adopt this course of action, the Disciplinary Body must:-

1.3.2 phone the relevant Club and establish, without delay, address and telephone contact details of the alleged offender; the Club should be informed of the suspension at this point;

1.3.3 contact the alleged offender direct confirming the suspension and reasons for this course of action.

1.3.4 A written report of the incident must be received from the Official concerned within two days of the match (excluding Sundays) and forwarded with a Charge of Assault to the player concerned as detailed under 1.1 of these Regulations.

1.3.5 If the report is NOT received within two days, the Disciplinary Body must lift the suspension by means of contacting the Club and alleged offender direct and make appropriate enquiries with the Officials concerned. This action should be confirmed in writing to all parties.

2. CONDUCT OF THE HEARING

2.1 A Disciplinary Panel of the Disciplinary Body must be convened within sixteen days as of the date of the letter detailing the Charge of Assault against the alleged offender.

2.2 The alleged offender shall be given a minimum of ten days notice to attend the convened Disciplinary Panel hearing.

2.3 The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the relevant rules of the authority.

2.4 Having considered all the evidence available, the Disciplinary Panel shall decide one of the following:-

2.4.1 That the alleged offender is not guilty of misconduct
2.4.2 That the alleged offender is guilty of misconduct defined under FAW Rule 24.2.9 (or equivalent South Wales FA rule)
2.4.3 That the alleged offender is guilty of misconduct and such conduct falls within the definition of category A (Technical Assault) of these regulations detailed in section 3 below.
2.4.4 That the alleged offender is guilty of misconduct and such conduct falls within the definition of category B (Assault whether or not causing bodily harm) of these regulations detailed in section 3 below.
2.4.4 That the alleged offender is guilty of misconduct and such conduct falls within the definition of category B (Assault causing serious bodily harm) of these regulations detailed in section 3 below.

2.5  In relation to a finding under Section 2.4.1 hereabove, the disciplinary body will lift the
imposed interim suspension with immediate effect, and inform the alleged offender
accordingly at the conclusion of the hearing.

2.6 If the alleged offender is found guilty of misconduct as set out under Section 2.4.2, 2.4.3,
2.4.4 or 2.4.5 hereabove, the disciplinary body will request mitigating factors and due
consideration will be given to these factors when considering the level of penalty or
sanction to impose.

2.7 In relation to a finding under Section 2.4.2 hereabove, the disciplinary body when deciding
the penalty or sanction must give consideration to the matches missed by the alleged offender as a result of the interim suspension imposed.

2.8 In relation to a finding under sections 2.4.3, 2.4.4 and 2.4.5 hereabove, any period of
suspension imposed by the disciplinary body must commence from the date of the interim suspension.

2.9 Where a suspension is imposed as a result of a finding under Section 2.4.2, 2.4.3, 2.4.4 or
2.4.5 hereabove, the disciplinary body shall also consider the ’Category of Suspension’ (as
defined by the FAW Regulations) to be served.

2.10 Where practicably possible, the disciplinary body shall inform the alleged offender of the
penalty or sanction imposed at the conclusion of the hearing.

2.11 Whether or not the penalty or sanction is given at the conclusion of the hearing, the
disciplinary body will confirm their decision and penalty or sanctions imposed in writing to
the alleged offender within three working days as of the date of the hearing.

2.12 A copy of the decision relating to the hearing must be forwarded to the Football Association of Wales within 5 days of the hearing.

3. CATEGORIES OF ASSAULT

A. Technical Assault (where there is no element of contact between the offender and match official). A Technical Assault will occur where a match official is intimidated or threatened with violence of any degree, whether or not there is an intention to carry out the threat. Careless actions include, but are not limited to, the throwing or kicking of objects or substances or spitting towards a match official but where no contact is made with the said official.

B. Assault (whether or not causing bodily harm)

An assault in accordance with this category is defined as any circumstance of an aggressive nature where physical contact is made with an official whether or not any injury results. This category also includes, but is not limited to, the throwing or kicking of objects or substances or spitting towards the match official where the said object or substance or spit makes contact with the match official.

C. Assault Causing Serious Bodily Harm

An assault shall be regarded as causing serious bodily harm if the official suffers any serious injury, including but not limited to injury to limbs, bones or senses, cuts, bruises, burns or concussion. Serious bodily harm may occur whether or not the Official requires medical treatment or first aid but shall not include harm which at the reasonable discretion of the Disciplinary Panel is deemed bodily harm of a minor nature falling within Category B above.

The relevant category of Assault shall be determined at the entire discretion of the Disciplinary Panel utilising the definitions as set out above and in light of all relevant circumstances including factors particular to the person assaulted and the alleged offender.

4. RECOMMENDED SANCTIONS

A. Technical Assault

Maximum of 182 days suspension from all aspects of football and a minimum of £50.00 fine.

B. Assault (whether or not causing bodily harm)

Maximum of two years suspension from all aspects of football and a minimum of £75.00 fine.

C. Assault causing Serious Bodily Harm

A Sine Die suspension FROM ALL FOOTBALL RELATED ACTIVITY with no review to be considered
under a period of 5 years and a minimum fine of £100.00.

5. AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS

5.1 When determining the penalty or sanction to be imposed under Section 4A, 4B or 4C
hereabove, consideration should be given to:-

5.1.1 aggravating factors - these may include, but is not limited to:- the level of the game the
alleged offender participates, the seniority of the alleged offender within the club, the length
of the incident, the requirement for others to prevent an escalation of the incident, the impact
on the match official, the severity of the incident and previous disciplinary record;

5.1.2 mitigating factors - these may include, but are not limited to:- the remorsefulness of the
alleged offender, acceptance of the charge of misconduct, post incident behaviour of the
alleged offender, the length of the incident. lack of involvement from any other party to stop
the incident and previous disciplinary record

6. MISCELLANEOUS

6.1 Any penalty or sanction imposed in accordance with these Regulations is subject to appeal
as set out under the FAW Rules.

6.2 A suspension from football imposed in the case of a disciplinary body’s finding under Section
2.4.3, 2.4.4 or 2.4.5 hereabove shall remain in place until such time as an appeals body
determines otherwise. Accept that, an appellant may submit a written application to the
appointed chairman of an appeals body convened to consider an appeal, for the penalty or
sanction imposed to be set aside whilst the appeal hearing is pending.

6.3 The decision of the chairman in relation to an application for the penalty or sanction being set aside, is final and binding on all parties and not subject to appeal.


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