A Circular (No. 1137) recently received from FIFA’s General Secretary emphasized the importance of referee match reports in properly evaluating acts of misconduct for any further response by FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee. The issues raised by the Circular are equally important for the professional leagues, high level youth and amateur leagues, and major tournaments in this country. The same concerns are also felt in the regional and state associations.
Although all aspects of the referee’s match report must meet high standards of clarity, accuracy, brevity, and pertinence, those sections involving misconduct require special attention, and reporting on acts of misconduct leading to a send off merit the highest concern. The need for effective match reporting starts at the lowest competitive level and becomes ever more critical as the competitive level of the match increases. State Referee Administrators and State Directors of Instruction are strongly urged to ensure that effective match reporting is incorporated in their training of senior referees.
In order for Disciplinary Committees to evaluate serious misconduct, match reports must start with:
In addition, however, the referee must supply sufficient detail regarding the circumstances of the misconduct to aid in evaluating its level of seriousness. Among the factors that should be addressed, where relevant, are:
Any other facts which a Disciplinary Committee might decide it needs as a result of its review of the match report can be supplied by the referee on request of the Committee, but the most useful information will come from a properly completed, accurate, detailed, and clear match report. Match reports provided independently by assistant referees, fourth officials, or reserve assistant referees should follow these guidelines as well.