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Referee official makes boycott apology

Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Referee Development Officer, Justin Mutukera, directed his apology to the Honiara Football Association (HFA) saying that he is sorry for the actions of some of his referees who boycotted a local football match last month.
Mutukera went on further extending his apology to the Provincial Football Associations (PFAs) for similar behaviour by referees which resulted in the premature end of the men’s football competition at the Solomon Games in June.
“I wish to say sorry for what has happened and the disappointment that has been caused by the actions of certain referees,” Mutukera said. “The refereeing family will ensure that these mistakes are not repeated in the future.”
At the same time Mutukera made the call for the PFAs and the public to offer referees the necessary support and respect that they need to properly execute their duties.
“Referees function in a very demanding environment and so much is expected of them,” Mutukera said. “In this regard, referees must be treated with respect and I appeal to everyone to look after our referees well.”
HFA Vice President, Samson Faisi, said that he is happy with the apology and looks forward for greater cooperation between his association and referees in the future.
“I commend the referees for apologising and must say that HFA and referees need to work together in the future to avoid such incidents because at the end of the day it is football and the footballers who are victimised,” Faisi said. “HFA was never at fault in the matter and this apology clarifies this so we are now moving away from this issue.”
HFA is now moving forward with its own referee registration system similar to that used in Malaita and Western Province and according to Faisi, HFA hopes that such disputes can be addressed through the system once it is implemented in 2011.
SIFF General Secretary Eddie Ngava said that SIFF appreciates the apology from the referee boss but refused to comment further saying that investigations are still continuing into the matter of boycotts by referees.
“SIFF is currently investigating the circumstances culminating in these 2 incidents so it is inappropriate for us to pass judgement based upon this apology,” Ngava said.