Solomon Football > News > FIFA World Cup Qualifiers Stage 3 > USD$12500 fine for betel nut incident

USD$12500 fine for betel nut incident

The fine which totals to almost SBD$90 000, was for an incident in which an assistant referee was pelted with betel nut skin by a spectator sitting on the hillside area. The incident occurred in the group stage match between Solomon Islands and New Zealand on June 6.
Play was stopped as the match referee Nobert Hauata investigated the distressed second assistant referee, Michael Joseph, who is from Vanuatu. Ruling that the incident was only minor Hauata allowed the game to proceed but a report was made to FIFA. The match went on to end in a historic 1-1 draw.
A FIFA Disciplinary Committee meeting was held in London on July 28 and the decision to fine SIFF for the incident was made citing a breach of the FIFA Disciplinary Code by the host.
The ruling stated that “…Solomon Islands Football Federation is liable for the improper conduct among spectators during the Preliminary competition match of 6 June 20l2 for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil between New Zealand and Solomon Islands and is therefore in violation of art.65 ff. of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.”
The notice of the ruling has prompted the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) to appeal to the local public to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future.
“This ruling shows FIFA’s commitment to safety at matches for everyone but especially for match officials and the public must be aware of this. This may look like a petty incident but it means that we will lose $90 000 that could be used to support our national team’s efforts in the World Cup qualifiers,” SIFF general secretary Eddie Ngava says.
“I want to ask the public to show restraint and responsibility when watching international matches in the future. Do not let your emotions get the better of you – it is our responsibility to ensure that we manage how we behave so we can have the privilege of watching matches at this level. If this is repeated we may lose our rights to host further internationals and this is something that SIFF does not want to happen.”
A similar call has come from the refereeing fraternity in Solomon Islands whose premier officer, Justin Mutukera, asked the public to offer respect to referees.
“FIFA will not take acts like this easily, FIFA is serious about the safety of referees. I appeal to the public to respect our referees whether they are local or international. This is our game and its profile and growth is a responsibility that we all share,” Mutukera said.
SIFF is currently working with FIFA to organise a manageable payment process for the fine.

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