A-Leagues referees say they are currently without contracts for the A-League Men and Women seasons and have made themselves unavailable for upcoming trial matches and FFA Cup games.
- Professional Football Referees Australia said it would not provide referees for upcoming matches
- The group said referees were without contracts for the upcoming A-Leagues season
- Football Australia said it was currently holding discussions with elite referees
Professional Football Referees Australia (PFRA) released a statement on Tuesday saying they had informed Football Australia on Monday their referees would not officiate the games after “more than three months of discussions and efforts to resolve several topics”.
The PFRA said referees were without contracts for the upcoming season and added the A-Leagues leadership and coaching department did not have their contracts renewed when the leagues unbundled from Football Australia in July.
They said this meant referees had been given “no direction, coaching/instruction and no fitness coaching” over the past three months.
“We are now just weeks out from the start of the season, and the referees find themselves in a position without any form of coaching and/or preparation,” the statement said.
The PFRA also took issue with the announcement of the A-Leagues refereeing panels, saying “members were unfairly removed from their position without any due process or warning”.
Adelaide Olympic FC are due to host Adelaide United in the FFA Cup this Sunday with Lions taking on Brisbane Roar the Sunday after..
It is unclear what, if any, impact the referees’ action will have on the upcoming top-tier seasons.
The A-League Men season kicks off on November 19 with the A-Leagues Women’s competition commencing on December 3.
“The PFRA A-Leagues referees sacrifice an enormous amount for football in the country and it seems staggering that we find ourselves in a position without basic items such as leadership, coaching staff, fair processes for changes to panels, and a standard contract,” PFRA president Paul Cetrangolo said in a statement.
“The PFRA remains committed to solving these issues but will not officiate further matches while these items remain outstanding.”
Football Australia (FA) said the matches will go ahead as scheduled and that referees “have and will be appointed for these matches”.
FA said the arrangements for elite referees “represent the final changes that need to be implemented” in response to the new governance model in relation to the professional leagues.
“Football Australia recently confirmed a new structure for referees and today advertised for several new positions, including a Head of Refereeing to lead the new department,” the statement read.
“Football Australia can confirm that it is also holding discussions around contractual terms with A-League referees.”