Armed police will now be a feature at all football matches to be played.
And this is to be communicated with the various leagues at all levels throughout the country.
This was an interim measure adopted during a meeting with the St Vincent and the Grenadines Football Federation (SVGFF) and the SVG Referee Association which was held on October 9.
The meeting between both bodies was called following two separate incidents where referees were attacked.
According to Elroy Lewis, President of the SVG Referee Association, the protocol is that at least two police officers must be present at the venue, with one placed in the technical area specifically to ensure the referee’s safety.
It was noted that the police officers must remain at the venue after the match is played to ensure the safety of the referee and Lewis added that they were able to successfully negotiate for transportation to be provided for referees who had to travel far distances to officiate games.
He further added that in the long term, a committee has been put in place comprising a member of the SVGFF, the Referee Association and the Referee Department.
The committee, Lewis said, is charged with coming up with a set of documented policies to be implemented and which must be communicated to all teams and clubs and adopted by them.
Lewis told ANN that a meeting is scheduled with the various teams/clubs before the National Club Championship begins.
“The policies would be our way of combatting violence against referees,” Lewis said.
The policies are expected to include some stiffer penalties for players who are found to have breached the guidelines, the Referee Association’s President explained.
The meeting was called after two attacks on referees, the most recent incident occurred on September 30 in Barrouallie when an assistant referee was attacked and beaten by players after the game.