Referee Daniele Doveri: ‘We have all suffered threats or violence’


Serie A referee Daniele Doveri says that he and many of his colleagues have suffered threats or acts of violence. The experienced Serie A ref was speaking in an interview with Il Messaggero following a number of contentious refereeing decisions this season. Referee’s have come under the spotlight due to a series of mistakes in Serie A matches, and Doveri suggests that the role itself has suffered as a result:

“Why should a boy or girl want to become a referee? Because it is an educational and training experience. For a young person today, it is difficult to make decisions in an instant and to enforce the rules. It is a dynamic to which he is not accustomed, considering that at school he receives instructions from his teachers, in sport he follows the instructors, in the family his parents. Here, in refereeing he is the one who decides, always according to the rules’.

‘Risks? That’s the real difficulty of refereeing, especially in the minor leagues. I don’t understand the reasons for the violence. Very often, by the way, the perpetrators of insults and threats are the boys themselves, the same age as the young referees. Or, worse, men who, because of their age, could be the fathers of the referees. This is absurd. Inconceivable.

“How to solve the problem? We follow them, we try to be close to them, not to make them feel alone. Our profession is very united: we offer everyone, but especially those who encounter violence, a lot of human warmth. And all this has an effect, since almost always, after matches marred by unpleasant incidents, it is the boys who ask: ‘Can I referee on Sunday?'”

“Unfortunately I must say that all of us, or almost all of us, have had to deal with moments of threats or violence. I myself, in Eccellenza, took a slap in the face, but then I arrived in Serie A. There is violence and violence: today someone even ends up in hospital.”


Serie A obsessive.