Sat | Dec 15, 2018

'Backward and unfortunate' - Meikle blasts Barrett comments on female officials as 'very sexist'

Published:Tuesday | September 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMAkino Ming/Staff Reporter
Jamaica's Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing (left) exits the field with other female officials during the FIFA Under 20 Women's World Cup in Jordan in 2016.
Referee Chrystal Sobers (left) checks in on injured Tivoli Gardens player Kenroy Lumsden during a recent Red Stripe Premier League.

CONCACAF Referees assessor, Dave Meikle, has labelled Charles Barrett as 'sexist' after the former FIFA official told The Gleaner that too much emphasis is being placed on female referees.

The comments riled up Meikle, who said that Barrett's statement was backward and unfortunate, coming from a person of his stature.

"I think the gentleman was very sexist in his comments, and they are very backward to say the least. I don't know where he got his facts from, but female referees are not taking away from the development of their male counterparts," Meikle explained. "If you look at it, the women's premier league lasts about three months, so if they should only officiate women games, there wouldn't be enough matches for them to officiate and this is not peculiar to Jamaica."

Barrett had said that the emphasis on developing female refs is detrimental to the development of their male counterparts, and they should only be allowed to officiate schoolboy and Major league football.

"I think we need more emphasis on the men. They are putting all the energy on the females. Before, we never had many female referees, but now they are getting too much attention.

"They have females doing men's games, even some tough games that they should give the men. I don't think females are better than the men, but they are pushing the females," Barrett said in the August 21 publication of The Gleaner.


Recognise FIFA direction


He continued: "I want to point out to Mr Barrett that in 2017, FIFA appointed seven females to the Under-17 men's World Cup and Esther Staubli became the first female to officiate at a men's World Cup (FIFA U-17 World Cup game, between Japan and New Caledonia at the Salt Lake Stadium in India, in October 2017), so Mr Barrett needs to recognise the direction that FIFA is heading into."

According to Meikle, two Jamaican female referees are now front-runners to be selected to participate in the FIFA Women's World Cup next year in France. "Stephanie-Dale Yee Sing and Princess Brown, they are candidates for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019," Meikle said. "I think female referees in Jamaica have made tremendous strides and they are being rewarded for it."