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Steve Ganson slams Catalans owner Bernard Guasch for refereeing comments

Steve Ganson, the RFL’s Head of Match Officials, has responded to the comments of the Catalans Dragons president Bernard Guasch following the Grand Final.

“We have seen in recent weeks and months an increased focus on the abuse being received by match officials in the community game, mostly verbal but in some cases physical,” said Ganson.

“Given that background, I can’t stand aside and allow some of our leading officials to have their integrity questioned in such a high-profile way.

“Our match officials are employed to make decisions and that’s what they do honestly and independently. They have a responsibility to contribute to the game in the interests of all stakeholders. This requires knowledge of the rules and effective player management skills alongside common sense.

“There were 288 play the balls in the Grand Final – each one creating multiple decisions that the referee makes on each single play. This carries a weight of enormous scrutiny and responsibility to the sport.

“It is the intention of the referee and his officials that each team has equal opportunity to win the game and within this the officials have a duty to find the right balance between enforcement of the rules and contributing to the game without unwanted intervention – however this requires compliance from the players on the field.

“To suggest a game is lost because of the referee alone is frankly ridiculous and needs calling out.

“I’m not claiming the performances of the officials involved on Saturday were perfect. But I would request that high-profile individuals in the game view the performances of match officials as they do those of players, accepting that errors will occasionally be made, and that some marginal calls can go either way – and also consider before they question the integrity of match officials the damage that does to our attempts to increase the respect shown for officials throughout the sport, which is so important in recruitment and retention.

“The comments made by Mr Guasch have been passed to the compliance department for investigation, and we will await the result of that investigation.”



  1. Sheogorath

    October 12, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    The racism from Guasch must be punished heavily.

  2. John

    October 12, 2021 at 3:39 pm

    I thought ganson was well gone arrogant man
    How can he who once punched a female pensioner at a game still be involved in any sport proves idiots are still in our game Bernard is entitled to have his say he pays refs wages and yours knobhead

  3. Steve

    October 12, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Can Steve Ganson explain why the interpretation of the laws were different for the GF from all previous rounds, especially around sin bin for high tackles?

  4. Paul

    October 12, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    Ganson, who made some of the biggest refereeing mistakes the game has ever seen, is still involved with the game. Enough said.

  5. Robert Leigh

    October 12, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    I would like to point out that Steve Ganson refers twice about the rules of rugby league. In his comments regarding what the Catalan owner said about the refereeing decisions in the Grand Final. I would like to say that there are no rules in Rugby League, they are all Laws of the game. He should know better. R.Leigh ex referee.

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