Move to thank footy umpires after Thornlie attack

Stock image.
Stock image.

UMPIRES will be thanked before junior football games this weekend after Saturday’s alleged assault of a 13-year-old umpire.

WA Football Commission chief executive Gavin Taylor announced the move in a radio interview Monday.

“Coaches and players will be getting together and shaking the umpire’s hand prior to the start of the match as a sign of respect and a sign of thanks for what they actually do,” Mr Taylor said on 6PR.

“That typically occurs post every match. This weekend we’re doing it prior and post-match as a call-out to say thanks… and importantly setting the tone of how we must respect and support our umpires.”

He said the commission would hold its own investigation into the incident in an under-11 game between Thornlie and Maddington after the police were finished with their inquiry.

Any attack on umpires was unacceptable.

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“We’ll be considering bans for this particular person,” he said.

“Now the scope and details of that I can’t comment on until we have all the facts.”

A 46-year-old woman has been helping police with their investigation. Police said the umpire suffered minor injuries and did not require medical attention.

Mr Taylor admitted the boy had been rattled and the commission was supporting the family.

“We’ve put our arms around him and his family and provided him some support, particularly making sure we don’t lose him to the game based on this particular incident,” he said.

“Some of our key staff and key AFL umpire leaders will be engaging with him this week.

“Early indications from our staff is that he’s going OK and the family has been appreciative of the support.”