OFFICIALS are coming down hard on anti-social behaviour from players and spectators at local football matches.
Residents have contacted the Leader to express their concerns at what they have seen at amateur fixtures in the region.
A match at Cefn Mawr between Cefn C.S.C. and the Red Dragon from Caia Park earlier this month was marred by trouble and had to be abandoned after an alleged brawl between players and spectators. Some spectators said they were appalled by what they saw.
A match in Saltney was also flagged up in a letter to the Leader, where it is claimed a referee was spat at and was verbally abused with death threats and threats of damage to his car windows by spectators.
In response, officials from the local governing bodies have said they were doing all they could to combat bad behaviour at matches.
Ken Hughes, secretary of the North East Wales Football Association, stressed they were coming down hard on those who cause trouble.
He said: “We’re very keen to reassure people the North East Wales FA is doing all it can to tackle these issues.
“We deal with these and we can’t say if fines are enough but we will continue to do all we can and act as strongly as possible.”
Keith Hale, Wrexham Sunday Football League secretary, said league officials are aware of the problems.
He said: “We are taking action.
“One of the worst problems is that matches are played on public parks, which are difficult to control, but we do have it in our league rules that we can take action.
“We are trying to combat this but people don’t see anything wrong with this kind of behaviour and I quite honestly believe this abuse and behaviour is not limited to Sunday football.
“I’ve been on the league for more than 40 years and it is getting worse. It’s like they’ve got tribal attitudes.
“I don’t know the exact answer to this but we are trying to do something about it.”
Brian Purcell, a referee in the Deeside Sunday League, said he has seen an improvement in behaviour.
He said: “Leagues in this area are doing really, really well and I’ve seen no incidents involving players or spectators yet this season.
“If the season carries on the way it is, in terms of behaviour, it’s going to be brilliant.
“We’re hopefully heading in the right direction.”