Ex-Vasco president apologises for abusing referee

  • (File photograph by Lawrence Trott) 

Alerted security: referee Antoine Augustus was subjected to abuse during Vasco’s match against Social Club last weekend

The Vasco da Gama fan who shouted abuse at referee Antoine Augustus at Bernard Park last weekend was the club’s former president Miguel Pereira.

Pereira, who served as Vasco’s president until two years ago, was asked to leave the ground after directing foul and abusive language towards Augustus who halted the game and alerted security.

Pereira called the Inside Sport radio show on Power 95 on Monday to apologise for his behaviour during the First Division match against Young Men’s Social Club.

While Pereira admitted he did use profanities towards Augustus, he insisted he did not shout racial abuse.

Sherwin Dill, the North Village president, whose team’s home field is Bernard Park, which Vasco share, says his club does not condone abusive behaviour by supporters. The incident happened late in the game, just minutes before Ricardo Ponte, the Vasco captain, broke deadlock to hand his side a 1-0 win.

“I spoke to the president of Vasco [Paulo Franco] yesterday and we both agreed that’s not behaviour that either of us condone,” said Dill, who attended the match. “I saw and heard Miguel making remarks towards the referee, but I can’t say it was anything racial that he was saying.

“He was abusive to the referee and was immediately escorted off the premises by security that Vasco had supplied for the game as there was only one game there. If it is a double-header, North Village will have their security, but if it is a single match, then Vasco have to bring their security. That’s the arrangement we have.”

Dill also serves as chairman of the Club Presidents’ group, which meets regularly to discuss footballing issues.

“We are working collectively as presidents, working in conjunction with the Bermuda Referees Association to take steps not to have our spectators abusing the referees, from the junior to the senior ranks,” Dill added.

“We’ll be talking about it to take steps to eradicate it altogether.

“The presidents meet on a regular basis to try to collaborate about football issues and to be more in synergy with the Bermuda Football Association.”

The BFA is awaiting reports from the match officials before deciding on disciplinary action. Vasco issued a statement on Monday, vowing to “begin an investigation into these very serious allegations”.

Dill added: “[Pereira] was spoken to by the Vasco president and it’s up to them how they deal with him.

“That type of behaviour, both abuse to the referee and any racial remarks that may or may not have been made, we do not condone any of that at our facility.”

Young Men’s Social Club did not respond to requests for a comment on Monday.