The national secretary of Prospect has spoken out after Warnock told talkSPORT his wife supported him using violence against the officials following Cardiff’s defeat by Chelsea on Sunday
The head of the referees’ union has condemned violence towards football officials in the wake of Neil Warnock telling talkSPORT his wife supported him ‘thumping’ the officials who were in charge of Cardiff’s defeat by Chelsea.
Chelsea came from behind to beat the Bluebirds late on, and Warnock was left angered by multiple decisions that went against his team.
The most high-profile error saw Cesar Azpilicueta score Chelsea’s equalising goal from a clearly offside position, while Antonio Rudiger, the defender, was only shown a yellow card for bringing down Kenneth Zohore as the striker burst through on goal. Warnock was adamant Rudiger’s clumsy, DOGSO (denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity) foul was deserving of a red card.
Cardiff also had a number of penalty calls turned down which further annoyed Warnock.
He approached the match officials after full-time to express his frustration, and the Bluebirds boss joined talkSPORT on Monday morning to criticise the referees for not being ‘educated enough at the top level’.
Warnock also made the revelation that his wife, Sharon, would not have stopped him ‘thumping’ those on duty.
“When I came in yesterday,” Warnock said, “my wife said to me: ‘darling, if you had wanted to thump the referee and linesman, I wouldn’t have stopped you’.
“It was so unjust.”
A referees’ union has since spoken out over violence towards referees, though Prospect’s national secretary, Alan Leighton, did not comment on Warnock’s remarks specifically.
Leighton told The Times: “The overall issue I have got is we are very concerned about violence and abuse of referees at all levels in the game and any suggestions that violence towards officials is in any way appropriate is not acceptable.
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“It has a potential knock on further down the chain.”
Cases of assaults causing injury to referees dropped 45 per cent in 2017/18, though there were still 61 reported cases across all levels of English football.
Last year, amateur referee Henry Ifesi told talkSPORT it was a ‘travesty’ a man who attacked him during a match walked free from court.
Mr Ifesi showed a red card to Luke Nicholls during a match between AFC Stopsley and AFC Enterprise at Stockwood Park in December 2016, only to ‘then wake up in A&E’.
talkSPORT also revealed last year that three footballers charged over a vicious attack on a referee in Wood Green, north London escaped punishment.
The Football Association are allegedly looking into Warnock’s comments, though he has avoided sanctions for his actions during and immediately after the match.