Matt Cecchin opens up on the abuse that led to his retirement

Discussion in 'General Rugby League' started by rhugh89, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    NRL 2018: Leading referee Matt Cecchin opens up on the abuse that led to his retirement



    Staff writers with AAP, AAP
    August 3, 2018 10:25am




    VETERAN whistleblower Matt Cecchin has opened up on the abuse he and his family have suffered ahead of refereeing his 300th NRL game.

    Cecchin, set to hit the milestone as Penrith meet Canberra on Sunday, has told Fairfax in an exclusive interview about the scale of death threats he faced after making a late-game call in last year’s World Cup semi-final between England and Tonga to disallow a try.

    The call was later deemed to be correct.

    “We’ve picked up hundreds and hundreds of messages and they are death threats,” Cecchin said he was told by New Zealand police post-match, as he and his family were rushed out of the country.

    The 44-year-old then revealed he was picked up by Australian Federal Police at the airport and his home was kept under watch.

    “It was really, really serious. I don’t like attention as a referee,” he said.

    “I want to do my job without any fuss and then leave. The reality is that after that game, and for the first chunk of this year with all the noise that’s been out there, it’s been tough. Really, really tough.”

    Cecchin also revealed that he is retiring from refereeing at the end of the season due to the brutality of criticism that referees have received. He has been speaking to a sports therapist twice daily to deal with it.

    He said if an opportunity arises to referee in the Super League in the UK he may consider it, but effectively, he’s ‘done’.

    Cecchin has previously spoken about his battle with mental health and said he made the decision to walk away from the game after Origin I, saying he needs a “long break”.

    “It’s gone too far,” Cecchin said.

    “How much better could we be if the environment was a little bit more positive? If a ref could go out there knowing he’s got to work hard but if he makes a bad call it won’t be the end of the world?”


    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/s...t/news-story/5428473f26dc76dbc27ace7887be1f18
     
  2. rhugh89

    rhugh89 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Weak people have driven Cecchin out of NRL: Stuart


    Scott Hazlewood
    Fri 3 Aug 2018, 12:29 PM



    Canberra coach Ricky Stuart said he sympathises with the mental battles of Matt Cecchin after the leading referee announced he will retire from rugby league at the end of the year.

    Cecchin has told Fairfax Media he has been inundated with abuse this season including death threats after the semi-final between England and Tonga in last year's World Cup.

    Stuart slammed those he believes have essentially driven Cecchin out of the game as "weak people."

    The bombshell comes as Cecchin becomes just the seventh referee to officiate in at least 300 games when he takes the whistle on Sunday for the Raiders clash with the Panthers.

    It will be one of the last games at the top for an official considered one of the best in the Telstra Premiership, a fact Stuart said that in some ways, it is a "sad" indictment of the society today.

    "It's sad to see because I believe 'Cecc' is one of the top referees in the competition and to lose him, we're losing a lot of experience and ability and it's sad for the game because we can't afford that," Stuart said.

    "I do sympathise with him and I 150 per cent understand what he's saying about being over the game and it's sad.

    "He's been courageous in terms of saying it how it is and it's probably what gets us in trouble sometimes.

    "It's gotten me into trouble telling how it is, but Matt's come out and I think people out there have to sit down and really think about what he's saying.

    "The stress and the mental issues he's had with it is a very serious, damaging consequence."

    Stuart himself has been known for critical of referees and their decisions over the years calling for match officials to be more accountable for their decisions.

    However, Stuart said he has tried to soften his stance against the match officials in recent years especially given the changing guidelines that dictate how they are to call the game.

    "People don't understand the behinds the scenes communications I have with the referees' bosses and the referees," he said.

    "I think I have constantly said for the past two or three years 'I feel sorry for our referees'. Because they have been at times given a job that is I believe nearly impossible to get right.

    "There's going to be one or two or three big mistakes in every game of football, but then players' and coaches' livelihoods are on the line and people are very reactive in regard to their emotions after a game."

    Cecchin's open and honest account of the impact of calls made during a game and how it has affected the rest of his life has resonated with many across the rugby league landscape.

    Stuart does not believe it will lead to a fundamental change as to how fans interact with those who are expected to be perfect when the spotlight is at its brightest.

    "You've got to understand from a coach's point of view to a referee's point of view to a player's point of view, the abuse they receive, some can handle it, and some don't," Stuart said.

    "The mental problem we're talking about today is real and it's something with so much scrutiny nowadays on people, some handle it differently.

    "There's not a referee who wants to go out there and make an error, there's not a player who wants to drop a ball, there's not a coach who wants to lose.

    "And unfortunately, all of our positions are very high profile and they're going to come under abuse.

    "Criticism is one [thing], abuse is another and they're very weak people who want to abuse people who are in charge of their positions.

    "They're weak individuals, you'll never see them because that's why they're weak people."


    https://www.nrl.com/news/2018/08/03...referee-matt-cecchin-out-of-nrl-ricky-stuart/
     
  3. Damo Levy

    Damo Levy Michael McKeirnan

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    Stuart = Hypocrite
     
  4. Simon Templar

    Simon Templar Matt White

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    In fairness Sticky loves a blew up but rarely ABUSES the individual refs.
     
  5. member 2299

    member 2299 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    Have known Matt personally since he came from Perth in 2001 to push for an NRL officiating position. He started as a touchie when the Western Reds were in existence. Unlike him to toss it in but different story when thugs start with threats to family.

    His least favourite ground? Marathon as the fans are pretty knowledgable and don't hesitate letting officials know they are ******s!
     
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  6. krustykraz

    krustykraz Russell Wyer

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    Im sure he was also fed up with the nepotism among the referee ranks.
     
  7. Damo Levy

    Damo Levy Michael McKeirnan

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    Only more recently.

    Lately he has criticised the refereeing system not the refs but that still puts more pressure on them.

    People that complain about bad decisions need to understand there will always be poor decisions. Video ref or not.

    Even season ending decisions. Well.....

    Not if you’re good enough.
     
  8. member 2299

    member 2299 Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    Or one of the 'big four' who as Blocker Roach says 'are lucky getting the 50/50 go their way'!
     
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  9. R_A

    R_A Darren Albert

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    Well if he didn't miss the knock on by Matai that was incorrectly called then Joey wouldn't have had to use explicits ey?
     
  10. R_A

    R_A Darren Albert

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    Also I noticed this little gem on twitter, if true, then wow

    Bill Harrigan on Triple M
    "He said that the referees start each game with 100 points & lose points throughout the match. They lose points if they don’t refer try decisions to the Bunker & are questioned about it during referee reviews. If true absolute bullshit"
     
  11. Billy

    Billy Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus

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    All the guys I know who have been refs absolutely love bossing people around and copping abuse for it. Some of them in lower grades would deliberately make bullshit harsh calls and lap up the anger and abuse they copped. They have a peculiar type of small man's syndrome I think, and the only place they can be little dictators with a whistle is on the footy field.
     

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