A young referee taking charge of an under 11 game in Peterborough yesterday (March 24) walked off the pitch after being verbally abused by managers.
The game in question was a PFSDF Cup tie between Peterborough Junior Alliance League teams Peterborough Polonia and Deeping United and took place at the Nene Valley Community Centre in Candy Street, Woodston. The referee was 16 years old.
Peterborough Junior Alliance League chairman David Burgess was there watching and witnessed what happened.
He said: “It was 1-1, there was three minutes to go and the referee gave a Deeping United player a yellow card for kicking the ball away. When that player was asked for his name by the referee he refused to give it so the referee quite rightly gave him a red card. That’s when it all kicked off.
“The Deeping United managers lost their cool. They came onto the pitch and confronted the referee and upset him. He had a few tears and walked off.
“I went over and had a word with him and he completed the game which was decided on a penalty shoot-out, which Polonia won 4-2.
“The young referee was having a very good game and did everything correctly. The Deeping United managers, who the referee had twice spoken to earlier in the game, were totally at fault. Their chairman was there watching and he was disgusted with their behaviour.”
A report of the incident will be submitted to Lincs FA by the referee and the Junior Alliance League will wait to see what action they take before taking action themselves.
Burgess added: “I’m afraid this sort of thing is becoming all too common. One thing that does concern us is why teams these days need four coaches telling seven players what to do.”
Deeping United have issued the following statement: “In light of the current circumstances surrounding the incidents which occured during a football match involving one of our teams, we as a club want to stress that we do not condone the alleged behaviour from anyone within the club and we can assure you that the club will be working with the Junior Alliance and the county FA to fully investigate the incident and the appropriate action will take place.”