Marta Galego: Spanish Female Referee Halts Game, Ejects Fan Who Told Her To ‘Go Wash Dishes’

Marta Galego, a female referee in the Catalan second division league, decided to stop a game over the weekend to eject a fan who told her to “go wash the dishes.”

The match between UE Valls and Cambrils Unió on Sunday was the first game for both teams this season in the second division league. Galego was one of two female referees in charge of the game.

According to Spanish newspaper AS, at some point during the game, a fan yelled at Galego to “go wash the dishes.” Gelago responded by stopping the game and ordering the fan to be evicted from the stadium. It is unclear what caused the fan to yell the sexist remark at the female referee.

The game was paused for up to three minutes as the fan, identified as an EU Valls club member, made his way from the stadium, Soccerlens reported. Many fans at the stadium reportedly applauded Galego’s decision and gave her a standing ovation. Fans have also expressed support for Galego on social media.

Marta Galego is not the first female referee to have come under abuse while on the football pitch in Spain.

A player reacts to a referee’s decision during a game in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. [Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images]

In November last year, a female referee officiating a game in the Andalusian second division league was attacked by a man who attempted to slap her with his penis, the Metro reported. The man was later identified as a player with Celtic de Pulianas, which competes in the Andalusian first division league. Apparently, he was unhappy about some of the decisions that the female referee had made and decided to invade the pitch and protest in the rather bizarre manner.

Earlier this year, the issue of sexism in football in Spain made headlines once again after a referee asked a female football player out on a date during a game, the Mirror reported. The player, Elena Pavel of Sporting Huelva, later complained about the incident. She stated that she felt “helpless,” “humiliated,” and “ashamed” after the incident.

Similar to Galego, a Brazilian lineswoman made the headlines last year for standing up to a player who was screaming at her after she raised her flag for a throw-in, the Daily Mail reported. Tatiane Sacilotti was the lineswoman in a game between Sao Paulo and Ponte Preta when the incident transpired. The player, Biro Biro of Prenta, was unhappy that Tatiane had waved for a throw-in for Sao Paulo and went over to express his anger. But to his surprise, she responded, furiously defending her decision and forcing Biro to walk away.

The incident involving Martha Galego appears to be the first case of its kind this year in Spain. Football authorities in the country have sought to curb the use of abusive language on the pitch. In February, the Catalan Football Federation started a campaign to end violence and abuse against referees and players during games. In line with the campaign, the federation implemented a new protocol authorizing referees to pause or end a game if someone is physically or verbally abused.

Galego was seen taking notes after she stopped the game and sent away the UE Valls fan, AS reported. While many have assumed that the incident would be officially reported to the Catalan football federation, it is unclear if this has been done, as the organization is yet to make a statement about it. It is also unclear if UE Valls has taken any disciplinary action against the fan who verbally abused the female referee.

UE Valls went on to win the game against Cambrils Unió with a lone goal.

[Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Bongarts/Getty Images]

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