Maccabi 'abusive' say referees

Maccabi League footballers are the most abusive of all to deal with, according to a number of referees who say it is putting them off the game.

Referees have said that players in the Maccabi Southern Football League (MSFL) are among the “worst” they have experienced.

Warwick Blake, 37, began refereeing the Sunday league less than a year ago but said he has already endured abuse and violence. Last month he returned to his car after a match to find all four of his tyres had been let down.

Mr Blake, who also referees non-Jewish games, said: “Lots of referees don’t want to play in Maccabi. They are shouted at and intimidated. This league is the worst I’ve refereed in.”

Nigel Kyte, who began refereeing in the MSFL in 1975, said that he knows a number of referees who “won’t touch Jewish football”.

David Wolff, league chairman, said: “There are verbal problems in the Maccabi league but very little violence. What happened to Warwick was unacceptable — but it was also a one-off.

“We’re not allowed to touch discipline. It’s all dealt with by the FA.”

David Fowkes, chief executive of London FA, said that any abusive behaviour is dealt with “appropriately”.

Last updated: 5:44pm, October 29 2009