Directive to Match Officials

Handling complaints of slurs or offensive remarks that you don’t hear or witness yourself

Thanks to its longstanding culture of respect for all and its strict player-vetting process, the BASL is virtually immune to offensive comments and behaviour aimed at a person’s race, gender, ethnicity, colour, age or sexual orientation.

That said, the league addresses this issue in Article 2.2 (Code of conduct) of its Constitution** and now, as a complement to existing rules and disciplinary measures***, it has adopted the following directive to help you manage complaints of disparaging or offensive comments you haven’t heard or seen yourself:

  1. Acknowledge the complaint and promise to raise the issue with both teams as quickly as reasonably possible.
  2. Notify the teams of the complaint as quickly as reasonably possible (including immediately after the complaint if you think it’s warranted) and ask if other players or bystanders heard/witnessed the alleged slur, what that slur was, and note their names.
  3. You can ask a member of the Executive to listen in if one is available, but make sure he isn’t in a conflict of interest with the complainant or the alleged offender (father-son, brother, other family relation—see Article 2.3, Ethics and community involvement, of the Constitution).
  4. In the incident-report section of the game sheet, please note
    1. the complaint, the complainant and, if identified by the complainant, the
    2. name the alleged offender
    3. the names of any witnesses and what they heard or saw
    4. the name of any executive member who may have listened in when you spoke to the teams.

The BA Executive will then follow up with those involved and will brief you on what transpires after.

Thanks for your help.

*This directive is strictly internal and isn’t mandated by any of Canada’s official soccer governing bodies.

** The articles mentioned above can be found here 

*** Of course, as FIFA and Ontario Soccer rules state, officials must immediately dismiss (red card) any participant they know and identify as having made an offensive comment or gesture based on race, gender, ethnicity, colour, age or sexual orientation.