AFL Queensland has launched a Stop Umpire Abuse campaign to coincide with local football finals across the state.
The campaign, aimed at participants, fans, coaches and officials, features a series of short videos that will be rolled out across social media during the finals season.
The videos, starring community umpires and Queensland football identities including Gold Coast SUNS star Gary Ablett, Brisbane Lions Coach Chris Fagan and AFLW star Sabrina Frederick –Traub, aim to blow the whistle on umpire abuse.
AFL Queensland Chief Executive Officer Dean Warren, said the campaign has a clear message.
“The entire football community needs to work together to stop the abuse and change the negative attitude around umpiring,” said Mr. Warren.
“There are 1220 registered umpires across Queensland ranging in age from 13 to 74. They come from all walks of life and each has their own reason for officiating.
“They may do it for the love the game, to support their local club, help out their child’s team, earn some money while at school or uni. or simply to give back to the sport they are passionate about.”
“That they are being abused for simply doing their job is just not acceptable.”
Mr. Warren said strong growth in club football across the state had resulted in a shortage of umpires for the 2017 season.
“We want to recruit more umpires and keep them in our game, and we can only do this if we create a game day environment that provides a positive experience for everyone involved,” he said.
“We want clubs, players and fans to be proactive in supporting umpires and taking a stand against umpire abuse.
“Without umpires, we won’t have games. It’s as simple as that.”