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Football referee banned after celebrating title with team he officiated



A Dutch football referee has been reportedly banned from officiating for life after he was filmed celebrating with a team he refereed on the final day of the season.

Local reports say Jan Smit, 61, from Opmeer in the Netherlands, officiated a game between St George and SV De Valken in the fourth division on the final day of their season.

NH Nieuws reports Smit made a number of controversial decisions, including sending off three SV De Valken players and a member of their coaching staff.

He also added 15 minutes on at the end of the game as St George was losing and needed a point to secure the title.

St George’s goalkeeper Dave Laan scored the eventual equaliser in stoppage time to win the title.

Smit was then reported to be celebrating with St George at the full-time whistle – before being filmed further celebrating with the team, singing a song and lifting the trophy at an event with fans.

SV De Valken filed a complaint against Smit.

The club wrote: “The Valken board does not consider it useful to discuss Sunday’s match in detail and the role of the referee during and after the match in public.

“We just have to judge whether it is normal for a referee to celebrate St. George’s deserved championship in an exuberant manner after the match.”

The Dutch FA, the KNVB, responded by banning Smit from refereeing for them ever again.

KNVB spokesperson Daan Schippers said: “We have received several complaints after Sunday’s match.

“We called Mr Smit and told him that he is no longer allowed to referee matches.

“We expect a neutral attitude from a referee and that both teams are treated with respect.”

Smit has spoken out against it.

He told NH Nieuws: “I can understand SV De Valken is disappointed with the course of the match. However, in my opinion, the four red cards given were all 100 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 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 the whistling is now over but I will no longer get on my knees like I did two years ago.”

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