Referees revolt at "dubious" Dutch Football Association

The referees and assistant referees of the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) have made shocking characterizations while outlining the relationship with their employer. The depiction includes threats, phone harassment, unsubstantiated adjustments, referee criticism and abuse of power, according to newspaper De Telegraaf.

Professional referees also say they were tricked by their own interest group The Dutch Referee Association (BSBV). KNVB wants to switch from permanent contracts of referees into fixed term contracts and unexpectedly BSBV supported their position. This would give the Dutch Football Association free reign to let referees and assistant referees go after their contracts expire.

The intention is to encourage the flow of new referees coming from the bottom, the KNVB says.

Professional referees wrote a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher, also the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, which was published on January 5th. They are trying to appeal to the Minister regarding the changes to the law of permanent and temporary working contracts.

World Cup referee Björn Kuipers infuriated his superiors by signing the letter, the newspaper reports. He condemns the new collective agreement between KNVB and BSBV which he says was made without consultation.

This led the KNVB to "dubious" measures, the newspaper says citing anonymous referees. They decided to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

"At first you hear nothing from them for a while and then you may referee some matches in a corner of the country," one source said.