referee abuse

Gelson Martins
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Monaco’s Martins suspended six months for shoving referee (video)

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Gelson Martins is learning a costly lesson after shoving a referee last month.

Martins has been suspended for six months by the French league for a Feb. 6 incident in which he pushed referee Mikael Lesage, who had sent off teammate Tiemoue Bakayoko.

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The 21-times capped Portuguese winger, 24, will not be eligible to return to AS Monaco until July 1.

Suspensions for physical incidents with referees will almost always be harsh given the importance of the position in the sport and the freedom necessary to do their jobs. There’s also increased focus on protecting referees in recent years.

Referees in Berlin protested increased incidents of violence earlier this year, while Franck Ribery and Neymar have both been suspended for making contact with officials. In 2014, an American referee was killed after a player punched him in the face after a red card incident. The player was sentenced to eight years in prison. A lower-league playoff match in the U.S. was abandoned this Fall after a referee was punched by a coach.

Martins left Sporting Lisbon for Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2018, going on loan to Monaco after a half-season. Monaco purchased him Atleti last summer.

He has eight goals and three assists in 37 league matches for Monaco over parts of two seasons. Martins leads the team in dribbles per game (2.4) and is averaging 1.3 key passes per contest via WhoScored.

In other words, it’s a big loss.

Monaco sits seventh in Ligue 1, six points back of the European places.

UPSL playoff match abandoned after coach punches referee

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A United Premier Soccer League playoff game was abandoned after a referee assault in Maryland on Saturday, the latest in a long line of referee abuse stories.

A player from Mass United had been shown a red card, and a member of the club’s coaching staff punched the referee.

UPDATE: The league released a statement condemning the incident and vowing to stand with its referees.

The match between Mass United and World Class Premier FC (Maryland) was a Northeast Championship match, and would send a winner to the UPSL’s national finals in Miami.

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The match was tied at 1 around halftime when the referee stopped play after a foul led to a skirmish between players.

According to a source, the referee mistakenly removed a red card from his pocket when he meant to show a yellow. Before the referee could correct himself, an assistant coach punched him in the face. The game was abandoned and the win awarded to World Class Premier.

The UPSL is considered to be the fourth-tier of the American Soccer Pyramid and is sanctioned by the United States Adult Soccer Association.

EDIT: An earlier post said the UPSL was in the fifth-tier of the pyramid. The league was given higher sanctioning earlier this Fall.

Referees in Berlin protested increased incidents of violence earlier this year, while Franck Ribery and Neymar have both been suspended for making contact with officials. In 2014, an American referee was killed after a player punched him in the face after a red card incident. The player was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Here’s how it looked from the local angle in Maryland, with The Montgomery County Sentinel reporter Carlos Alfaro Rodriguez on scene. He confirmed the incident with ProSoccerTalk.