AN amateur footballer has been suspended by the league after an alleged assault on a referee following a cup semi-final defeat on Sunday.
An unnamed player from Masters FC is alleged to have elbowed referee W Ottoway in the back of the head as the players were leaving the field following their 3-1 Challenge Cup semi-final defeat to FC Dun and Bradstreet.
All Masters’ remaining games have subsequently been postponed by the Sunday Combination League and an investigation is now underway.
Masters assistant manager Dean Ryan said: “The player has been suspended with immediate effect.
He added: “If he is guilty, it’s not on. It shouldn’t happen. I didn’t actually see what happened and I don’t think many of the players did.
“I know there was a bit of a commotion, but I’d never condone this.
“Now the whole team is going to be tarred with the same brush, but we’re not like that.
“Nathan [Masterton, manager] and I put so much time and effort into it just for one person to possibly go and ruin it. We were top of the league with three games to go but now all our games have been postponed during the investigation.”
And he said that if the player is found guilty that he “hopes the league punishes him as an individual rather than us a team.”
And he added: “We’ll accept whatever punishment we get as a club.”
Masters had been reduced to nine men during the game, with two players receiving their marching orders for dissent.
Ryan said: “I think he [the referee] could have done better, but that doesn’t make it right for him to get attacked or elbowed or whatever.
“I know a lot of the referees and respect them. It’s embarrassing. It makes us look like sore losers.”
John Hurst, general secretary of the Sunday Combination league, said: “I can confirm that Masters’ fixtures have been temporarily suspended.
“There was an incident but I’m not willing to comment until the county FA have seen the reports and taken action.
“But in all cases such as this the county FA will place the player under immediate suspension [pending their investigation].”