Nigel Owens calls for abuse of referees to be stamped out and admits he’s worried about what’s happening
The Welshman was himself last weekend publicly criticised for a decision he made during New Zealand’s 37-10 win over Australia
The World Cup final official decided to disallow an Australia try after being advised to by the TMO
Welsh referee Nigel Owens has called for the increasing abuse of officials to be nipped in the bud after admitting he was worried about this problem in rugby being on the rise.
Owens was himself last weekend publicly criticised for a decision he made during New Zealand’s 37-10 win over Australia last Saturday in Auckland.
Although not speaking in direct response to the Australia/New Zealand incident, Owens admitted he was concerned about abuse towards officials becoming a growing trend.
“For me, rugby is the best sport in the world and I have always felt respected and allowed to be myself,” said Owens.
— rugby (@theblitzdefence) October 22, 2016
“There are a lot of good people involved in other sports, and we can’t take a moral high ground because there is plenty that rugby could do better.
“But what rugby has always done well is discipline and it needs to stay that way.
“It starts with abuse of match officials – that’s a no-go in rugby and must be protected.
“Referees can add an instant 10 yards to a penalty, or brandish a yellow card, and we know we will be supported by the governing bodies, by the players and even most of the crowd.
“I would hate to think of that no longer being the case so I am looking forward to being involved in this panel.
“It is worrying to think that abuse of match officials is on the rise and it must be nipped in the bud immediately to stop it from getting worse.”