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'I don't regret it' says ref who abandoned game over handbag comment
A REFEREE who abandoned a match after suffering sexist abuse from a spectator says she does not regret her decision.
Shelby Davis told the Daily Echo she was proud to make a stand and hopes her actions will help rid the beautiful game of such ugly behaviour.
However the parent accused of making the remarks insists his words have been taken out of context and that he was in fact trying to encourage her.
Hampshire Football Association is investigating claims that during half-time a Pirelli parent allegedly shouted at her “You need some testosterone for this game, ref, it’s a man’s game”, before adding: “You need to get a handbag, ref.”
Having made the decision she was confronted by a crowd of around 50 people in the car park who were all demanding to know why.
Overwhelmed by the reaction of the crowd, who Shelby described as being “agitated” and “frustrated”, she broke down in tears before getting into her car and driving off.
Shelby, from Ashurst, said: “I do not regret my decision and I would do it again if I had to because I do not get paid £14 a match to get shouted at and abused like that.
“I am proud that I have stood up to someone like that and, as many people have told me, that it was the correct decision because the only way we are going to rid the game of this sort of behaviour is for people to make a stand.
“Of course there is banter, that means nothing, and I normally give it back, but this was a bit extreme and there was really no need for it.”
However the man accused says his words have been misconstrued and what he actually said was “Keep going, you’re doing a good job”, followed by “It’s a man’s thing, testosterone, next time hit him with your handbag”.
Speaking anonymously to the Daily Echo, he insisted that he was only offering words of encouragement to her after she was the target of protests following her decision to disallow a Wyvern goal that would have put the team 3-0 up.
He added: “I made the comments to encourage her and to let her know that she was doing a good job, in what I felt had become a threatening atmosphere.
“If she had told me that my comments had caused offence I would have said sorry there and then.
“I wouldn’t use the terms ‘handbag’ and ‘testosterone’ again but it was all said in the context of the game, to diffuse the situation.”
Pirelli Pirates Youth FC have been charged by Hampshire FA with causing the match to be abandoned, misconduct by club spectators and spectators making comments deemed to be of a discriminatory nature.
The club has until October 3 to respond but the parent accused has said that the club will not accept the charges and will ask for a hearing.