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BBC Wales's Caroline Evans
"Members of the Cardiff Referees Society are said to be unhappy about working with the teacher."
 real 56k

Wednesday, 11 October, 2000, 20:06 GMT 21:06 UK
Referee ruckus over 'swearing' teacher
Steve Williams
Sports teacher Steve Williams denies the allegations
A Cardiff sports teacher accused of swearing at a visiting referee during a school game, has received support from pupils, parents and staff after denying the allegations.

The Cardiff Referee's Society maintains that one of its referees was insulted by the teacher at Whitchurch High School.

Gareth Matthews
Headteacher Gareth Matthews wants an apology

Following allegations that games master Steve Williams swore at a guest referee, members of the Cardiff and District Referees' Society are said to be unhappy about working with him.

Mr Williams has declined to comment on the advice of his union but staff at the school have said they are "outraged" by the suggestions.

"I think that the Cardiff and District Referees' Society are an amateur society who are acting in a very amateur way," said Whitchurch Comprehensive School headteacher Gareth Matthews.

"They have acted completely unprofessionally and I think nothing short of a full apology is what's required."

In a letter to the school, the society said that in a meeting last season there was "considerable feeling on the issue among the referees and a number of those present were able to give examples of this man's unacceptable behaviour".

Letter of complaint
Complaint letter from the referees' society

But pupils and parents have written to the school too to voice their support for the teacher.

Many said they were "shocked" to hear the allegations against Mr Williams, who they describe as a "very supportive" teacher.

The society has said there is no boycott at present and, in their words, the "ball is in the school's court".

The president of the referees' society said the matter has been blown out of all proportion.

Nevertheless, the society is looking for assurances from the school that the coach will follow an appropriate code of conduct otherwise the matter will be put back before members.

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