Home » Dutch ref speaks out after receiving ‘ban for life’ for celebrating title win

Dutch ref speaks out after receiving ‘ban for life’ for celebrating title win

Referee Jan Smit has blasted the KNVB (Dutch Football Association) after he was handed a lifetime ban for celebrating a team’s fourth-division title win. The 61-year-old took charge of a game between St. George and SV De Valken, in which he handed out four red cards, three of which went to De Valken players.

St. George had been chasing the title and trailed going into the final moments of the match, before goalkeeper Dave Laan equalised and his goal was enough to clinch top spot. Celebrations went on long into the night, but curiously the team were joined by the day’s match official and that moment was captured on video.

Smit could be seen joining the champions on stage, singing ‘Guardian Angel’ by Marco Schuitmaker and lifting the trophy. The scenes were shared on social media and De Valken filed an official complaint with the KNBV, who handed him a ban for life.

“This morning we called Mr Smit and told him that he is no longer allowed to referee matches,” KNVB spokesperson Daan Schippers said in a statement. “We expect a neutral attitude from a referee and that both teams are treated with respect. That is of course where this attitude belongs.”

But Smit has lambasted the decision and claims that he was not in the wrong, that the red cards he dished out were all correct calls and has even joined in on the celebrations of other teams in the past without repercussions.

“I can understand that SV De Valken is disappointed with the course of the match,” he told NH Nieuws. “However, in my opinion, the four red cards given were all one hundred per cent justified.

“Before the match I have already been asked by players from St. George if I wanted to sing a song afterwards. I have done that several times in the past, including at Spartans, VVS, Grasshoppers and also in Amsterdam at ASV Arsenal.

“I said that if they were to become champions, I would like to sing a song. During the chorus of ‘The Guardian Angel’, the bowl was pressed into my hands and I held it up. De Valken, however, did not appreciate this. They just forwarded that video to the KNVB and filed a complaint.

“I wasn’t partying with the players at all. I just sang a song and held up the bowl once. That’s the only thing. I find it too sad for words that the KNVB is removing me for that reason. It’s laughable.

“KNVB has not done any research and only watched one video. I assume that the whistling is now over, but I will no longer get on my knees like I did two years ago. Then they can go on the beet bridge.”