Referee apologises for ‘unprofessional’ incident with Ipswich Town player in League One match

A referee has apologised for his confrontation with an Ipswich Town player on Tuesday night in a League One match.

Darren Drysdale appeared to square up to Alan Judge and lean his head into the Republic of Ireland international after the midfielder’s appeal for a penalty had been turned down.

The 49-year-old Lincolnshire official has now admitted he lost his “composure” during the incident.

“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,” Drysdale said in a statement released by the Professional Game Match Officials Limited.

“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.”

The incident happened in the closing stages of the goalless draw between the hosts at Northampton Town at Portman Road.

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Ipswich pair Flynn Downes and Jack Lankester and Northampton defender Lloyd Jones stepped in and calmed the situation before Drysdale booked Judge.

Ipswich boss Paul Lambert had earlier called on the EFL to investigate the matter.

“I’ve text Mike Jones (EFL head of referees) this morning to say have a look at the footage of the head thing,” he told Talksport.

“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.”

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.

PA

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