Darren Drysdale: Referee charged by FA after squaring up to Ipswich player in extraordinary clash after ‘dive’
Written by Hitmix News on 18 February 2021
A referee has been charged by the FA after appearing to square up to and lock heads with a player in the closing stages of a match on Tuesday.
Darren Drysdale apologised after he and Ipswich midfielder Alan Judge clashed in an extraordinary exchange during Town’s goalless EFL League One draw with Northampton.
Judge, 32, went down in the penalty area as Ipswich attacked in the 90th minute, but, despite the Ireland international’s pleas, Drysdale did not award a penalty.
Image: Alan Judge (L, in blue) walks towards Darren Drysdale just before the incident. Pic: Sky Sports
Judge protested the decision, walking towards Drysdale as he did so and the pair exchanged words before the match official leaned his head into Judge and appeared to square up to him.
In a statement the Football Association said: “It is alleged that the match official’s behaviour during the 90th minute of the game amounts to improper conduct.”
Such incidents between players can result in one, or even both being sent off and are sometimes described as a “headbutt” even if the contact is minimal.
But rather than issue himself with a red card, the referee, who was ushered away by a Northampton player, raised his yellow card and booked Judge for diving.
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Video of the clash has gone viral on social media and the Football Association (FA) has opened an investigation.
In a statement released by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the Lincolnshire official, 49, said: “I fully understand that it is important for us as referees to maintain our composure throughout the game and always engage with players in a professional manner.
“I’m sorry that I did not do that last night and I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town.”
The PGMOL statement added: “As The FA are now investigating the incident in line with their usual disciplinary process it would not be appropriate to make any further comments.”
Earlier, Ipswich manager Paul Lambert said he had asked the game’s authorities to investigate.
Lambert told talkSPORT: “I’ve text Mike Jones (EFL head of referees) this morning to say have a look at the footage of the head thing.
“To me, in my opinion, it looks as if the referee went in there and I said to him after the game, ‘Did you put your head in my player?’
“He couldn’t answer it and that’s the reason I spoke to Mike. I haven’t seen that in a long, long while.”
An Ipswich spokesman told Sky Sports News that the club had not made any official complaint, but added: “We will leave it to the authorities to decide if there is to be any action taken.”
Sky News has approached the EFL for comment.
In the third minute of stoppage time, Drysdale sent off Town’s Flynn Downes for violent conduct in an ugly end to the match.
Drysdale, who was appointed to the National List of referees covering EFL games in 2004, has also been a FIFA and UEFA assistant referee and was an assistant referee at the 2000 FA Cup final.