CHANGE: MDRL chairman Troy Rovelli fed-up with issues in junior league.
CHANGE: MDRL chairman Troy Rovelli fed-up with issues in junior league. Justin Van Heerden

Cameras to clean up dirty behaviour in football

JUNIOR referees in Mackay could soon be wearing cameras to tackle anti-social behaviour, in the hope of returning "some integrity" to rugby league.

Swearing and threatening behaviour from spectators is hurting the integrity of our junior rugby league, and could be detrimental to its future.

Mackay District Rugby League chairman Troy Rovelli wants clubs to take back responsibility of poor behaviour from their members in junior rugby league to "fix" the game and help grow membership.

Mr Rovelli, who also does weekly match reviews as part of his role, believes clubs need to show more responsibility.

"There are way too many charges coming through for swearing, threatening and unwanted behaviour," he said.

"This is not only from seniors; the amount of tribunals being held for juniors was a reality check. We have a problem in junior football and it needs to be fixed.

"They need to stop sweeping issues under the rug, for the fear of confronting someone, you are harming the integrity of the game."

Mr Rovelli wants 'referee bashing' to stop completely due to the negative effect on the sport.

The situation has turned so bad that he wants junior referees to wear cameras to single out incidences of bad behaviour.

Until recently referees of senior matches did wear cameras, but they have now changed to audio communication devices.

Mr Rovelli wants those cameras made available to referees of junior matches.

"When I took this role I told the referees association, I'll back you, we need a full-time development person," he said.

"I don't understand why we treat referees different to players. When it comes to players we pick our talent, send them to camps and programs, recruit them for development, so why don't we do the same thing for our referees."

Despite the challenges, the association has taken steps to promote good behaviour at grounds on game day.

The growth of the sport and increasing numbers are priorities for Mr Rovelli, although he wants to see the right people involved.

"I want to do all those positive things and promote the sport, I want to fix these issues," he said.

"To do that we have a no d*ickhead policy when it comes to our game, this means parents, spectators, referees, coaches, players and anyone else involved need to be held accountable."