A-League referee wants sin bins introduced for dissent

After a season plagued by verbal abuse directed at officials, the A-League could benefit from sin bins according to a veteran referee

Having officiated in the A-League for over a decade now, Kris Griffiths-Jones has likely been called every name under the sun by disgruntled players and believes now is the time to introduce sin bins in an attempt to reduce the amount of dissent directed towards referees. 

Central Coast Mariners captain Matt Simon was recently handed an additional one-game ban for his verbal abuse of Stephen Lucas with teammate Aiden O'Neill also sent off in that game for dissent. 

With sin bins introduced at local level for some football competitions, Griffiths-Jones suggested the A-League would also benefit from their introduction which would see players spend 10 minutes on the sidelines after verbally abusing an official.

“I think a sin bin for dissent towards a referee has been fantastic for community football,” Griffiths-Jones told the Fox Football Podcast.

“It’s reduced the amount of yellow cards, it’s reduced the amount of red cards - it gives referees another avenue to manage it.

“We lose 1000 referees a year and the biggest reason is because of the abuse they receive. That’s why we don’t have a lot of growth."

Article continues below

It's not just players guilty of abusing referees however with A-League officials covering up the respect badge on their shirts in December after the FFA failed to sanction Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan for his fiery post-match comments about the refereeing.

"It was hilarious, a joke, an absolute joke. If he can sleep well at night, good on him," Rudan said after Nix lost to Perth Glory.

Since then, Ernie Merrick was handed a $3000 fine for post-match comments about the VAR, though the Newcastle Jets coach is contesting the sanction.