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MNSRC Policy on Discriminatory Events in Matches

March 3, 2021

With the social justice protests of summer 2020 and the upcoming Derek Chauvin trial, anti-racism and changing the social atmosphere is very much front and center for the upcoming 2021 soccer season. A recent incident in a youth match made this abundantly clear, and it is absolutely pivotal that referees actively manage such situations moving forward.

The SRC will be providing more in-depth training on managing match atmospheres with social justice in mind for the 2022 certification process. For the upcoming season, we would like to emphasize three very important fundamentals:

  1. Discriminatory language (defined by language designed to insult or degrade based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, or religion) on the soccer field is classified as Abusive or Insulting Language under Law 12. If such language is used by a player or team official in a hostile or insulting manner and one of the referee crew hears, sees, or experiences the incident, the guilty individual should be sent-off and shown a red card. If used by a spectator, the match should be halted and the spectator removed from the venue using traditional spectator-management protocols.
     
  2. When officiating a match, if you are informed of discriminatory language being used by somebody but none of the referee crew heard, saw, or experienced the incident, the accusation CANNOT be used to discipline the accused party.
     
  3. In a situation defined by bullet point (2)...
    • The match should be halted.
    • Both teams should be directed to their benches.
    • The referee should consult with both assistant referees (and a 4th official, if present) to determine if any of the crew heard, saw, or experienced the discriminatory language.
    • If not observed by a crew member, the referee MUST talk to both coaches and/or captains and inform them of the accusation.
    • Both coaches and/or captains must address their teams (and spectators, if applicable) to make it clear such language has no place in the game and will result in dismissals if confirmed by the referee crew.
    • The referee MUST report the accusation, incident, and steps taken to address the incident in the match report.

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