It’s not often that the man in the middle in a game of football is riled up enough to go head-to-head with a player, but that’s exactly what happened in the Ipswich Town v Northampton Town game last month.
Ipswich’s Alan Judge was alleged to have mouthed obscenities to official, Darren Drysdale, who took exception and walked menacingly towards the player before being pulled away.
Drysdale has just completed a four-match ban for his actions, telling an FA commission convened to decide on an appropriate punishment (per the Daily Star);
“As I blew my whistle Alan Judge shouted aggressively in a loud voice at me, and from a distance of only five metres, ‘It’s a f*** penalty you cheating bald c***.’
“Reacting completely out of character, I took exception to what I considered to be an offensive comment.
“I walked towards Alan Judge who then continued his tirade of abuse as he then, what I deemed as, aggressively and provokingly pointed his finger towards my face and shouted, ‘You’re a f***ing cheating c***’.”
That has provoked a furious reaction from Judge, who believes his club have audio of the incident which will back up his version of events.
“I said the incident was over as far as I was concerned when I walked off the pitch and that I wasn’t looking for an apology,” he said, according to the Daily Star.
“I didn’t want to make anything of it because it’s a tough job being a referee but I’m not going to keep quiet when I’ve been accused of calling the referee a cheat and using the C word.
“I’ll admit using the F word but I said to him ‘you have got to be f****ing joking me’ and I said that a couple of times to him.
“I never used the C word. I don’t use that word and I didn’t call him a cheat.
“My mum passed away last week – which is far more important than this – and I don’t need this hassle to be honest.
“Like I said, the matter was closed but I’ve got a decent reputation in the game and I won’t stand by and be accused of saying something I didn’t and not responding.
“Our media team have got some audio and it backs me up.
“Some people have said I should have come out straightaway and explained what I said but I didn’t want to do that.
“I was trying to help Darren. I said the matter was finished and it was but I have to make it clear now that I totally dispute what has been said by the referee.”
The FA will surely now be duty bound to reinvestigate in this case, and if Judge’s version of events are proven to be correct, it would surely mean the end of Drysdale’s career with the whistle.