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Office of Sport

NSW Government to investigate strict penalties for violent behaviour at sports events

Published: 11 May 2023

The NSW Government has begun working with major codes, venue operators and community groups to investigate new penalties aimed at protecting sporting volunteers and referees.

With a huge number of people in NSW regularly participating in organised sport, the need for volunteers and referees has never been greater.

The Minister for Sport Steve Kamper reiterated his support for volunteers and referees, highlighting the ongoing need to treat these grassroots sporting heroes with the respect and appreciation they deserve.

Sport keeps us healthy, supports friendly competition, builds discipline and puts the best of the human spirit on display.

Whether you’re an aspiring Olympian looking towards Brisbane 2032, or just want to kick a ball around with some friends, sport brings us all together.

The recent violence experienced by Khodr Yaghi, was shocking and unacceptable and more needs to be done to stamp out this behaviour.

The NSW Government is exploring stricter policies to punish violent or abusive behaviour, including lifetime bans from all sporting venues, sanctions against teams or clubs where individuals are allowed to be involved after being suspended, and a greater campaign to encourage respectful behaviour.

These mechanisms and sanctions will be tailored to individual sports and will be developed through deep consultation to ensure their effectiveness.

NSW Minister for Sport, Steve Kamper said:

“Like all of NSW I was sickened by the attack on Khodr. Our referees and volunteers deserve our respect, but more importantly they deserve to be safe.”

“We are looking forward to working with sport organisations on how we can ensure that this behaviour is stamped out of our grassroots sporting communities.”

“Without volunteers there is no grassroots sport – we must do everything in our power to ensure they feel safe and respected.”

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