The Football Association has said it is investigating “as a matter of urgency” the attack on a referee at an amateur match in Lancashire last weekend.
Referee Dave Bradshaw has been hospitalized with what he described as “serious injuries” after being attacked by a Platte Bridge player during a South Lancashire County League game against Wigan Rose.
Platt Bridge FC said: “As a club we do not condone violence against anyone in the football community. We are ashamed of what happened and the player is no longer playing with our team going forward. As a team, we hope that we can restore our reputation to what we have worked so hard to achieve.”
The FA said the incident was one of two that took place in Lancashire last weekend. The statement, titled ‘Enough is enough’, said: ‘We are aware of incidents of assault on a match referee and a player during matches played in Lancashire this weekend.
“We have made it very clear that all forms of anti-social behaviour, abuse and attacks on match officials and players are completely unacceptable and we will not allow it in the game. We are investigating the incidents as a matter of urgency, working with the Lancashire Football Association who are liaising with the police and supporting the match referee and the injured player.”
While in the hospital, Bradshaw tweeted: “I will survive. Thank you for all the nice messages I have received. Up judges.”
Ref Support UK, a registered charity dedicated to the independent training, support and development of referees, welcomed the FA’s statement and tweeted: “They need to make it clear what their idea is that #enough means enough. No more detentions, no more heartless campaigns. Make the change now.”
He has previously called on the FA to back referees who want to take action by not refereeing for a week or two, and to back points deductions for teams found guilty of abusing or assaulting a referee. “They must demonstrate that they are not waiting for the match referee to be killed,” the organization said.