Top match official slams abusive women

A top woman match official Tofilau Avii Faalupega Magele has condemned women spectators at a rugby union 15s tournament, whom she says verbally abused her when she officiated at a match.

Tofilau umpired a match at the Apia Rugby Union 15s tournament at the H.P.U. field Tuanaimato on Saturday.

But she took to social media after the match to express disappointment at women spectators who abused and threatened her over her officiating and added that she is not afraid and it is a difficult job being a lineswoman or match official.

"To these women who verbally abused me on the field calling from the side. The other one shouted ‘I would come there and take that flag and smash you with it’,” she wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.

“And the other woman said ‘I am going to pull your hair and slap your face’, I wish you showed your face and said out loud in front of me so I can teach you the way smart people do things.”

Tofilau, who is Samoa’s most highly woman match official and has officiated in international matches, urged her critics to either stay if they cannot use the appropriate language in a sporting environment or open up and learn more about the game.

“My mother taught me as a woman, who respects others and I mean everyone. If you don't want your kids to be treated the way you treat others or if you don't want your daughter to be abused by other women or anyone, then my advice ‘think before you speak’," she added in her Facebook post.

The top match official then encouraged the women to pray and be kind to everyone, if that is how they wanted to be treated.

"Learn the culture again. Always build your relationship with God, but don't go around threatening other people. What you do to other people's kids, others will do to yours," she said.

However, Tofilau was not the only match official to be abused at that time as she believes her female colleagues who are also in the Referees Association are also subject to similar abuse.

"My advice, since we have a lot of new match officials who are females who have joined our Referee Association, but the words being said to them are not appropriate. 

“We have tried our best to recruit men to do the job but they have all declined so you think we come to officiate your games and in return, you give us those inappropriate attitudes. 

“But it's the women and ladies who are mocking the work of a female match official. Please speak as a well-educated person and give advice as a wise person."

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