Critical situation in Swiss refereeing

“1,150 francs – and the free "black pig" – this is what a top Swiss referee gets. We are currently poor”, says Daniel Wermelinger. The problems in the Swiss refereeing are profound: lack of respect and lack of financial support. The result: by the end of this year, 4 out of the current 12 top referees will retire. Not because they have reached the age limit of 45.
Daniel Wermelinger (41, photo) had his peak in 2012 with the Cup final, but now he wants to change the triple burden job-family-football in a two-way load. Damien Carrel (30) says: "We are expected to have a professional attitude, but the conditions are amateurish”. Cyril Zimmermann (36) says: "I see no perspectives. It needed a fresh start. One would have to devote more resources to work full-time as a referee". And Ludovic Gremaud (32) is frustrated. He was responsible for ensuring that Bellinzona players Pergl and Yakin have been suspended after the last game because of insulting the referee for four, respectively, three games. He had noticed later that the President of the Appeals Committee had removed their suspensions. "Or take the case Jahovic", says Carrel. "The striker was initially suspended for ten games because he said after the match to the referee “I will kill you!” After the appeal, the sentence was reduced to a seven-match suspension. We feel let down". It is in the nature of the referees that their resignations do not throw big waves of regret. However, the four resignations are alarming. Because of the phrase “no football without referees” is correct and the smaller the selection of referees, the lower the quality.
What is going wrong? Everything, because nothing or too little is being done to improve the situation referee. Urs Meier, former Head of Swiss refereeing, was frustrated over a year ago, because the Football Association did not support his concept. This provided for three professionals, four semi-professionals and five referees with a 20-percent employment with the Association. Cost: CHF 1 million. Meier also presented a light version for 650,000 to 700,000 francs. But it was not approved. The referee is not just about refereeing the matches, but about training, courses, travel, analysis, public relations. That takes time. At least half of the holiday quota is spent on the hobby. "We have to decide: occupation or referee. Refereeing will be chosen only by those who are absolute idealists", says Wermelinger. "The association would have to seriously think about it", says Meier. "Today, hardly anyone stays as a referee until the age of 45. Also, Massimo Busacca, who was a “positive crazy”, has stopped early. If the Association would have offered him a professional status, he would have stayed". With CHF 140 million for five years of contract between the Swiss SuperLeague and InfrontRingier, only 200,000 francs go to refereeing, says the current Head of Refereeing, Carlo Bertolini. "We pay the social security contributions for new referees. More is not in it, "says Meier's successor. But that's not enough to halt the decay of the Swiss refereeing. Or as Meier says: "In the past, there have been periods when Switzerland had four referees in the Top 30 in Europe. Today we do not even have a referee in the Top 50. As long as the Association treats the referees the same way as farmers are treated, that will not change".

Source: Der Sonntag