Darren Drysdale: Referee given backdated ban for Alan Judge clash

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Darren Drysdale is free to officiate again after being given a backdated ban for improper conduct after his clash with Ipswich player Alan Judge.

The 49-year-old locked heads with Judge while refereeing Ipswich’s game against Northampton on 16 February.

Drysdale, who admitted a breach of Football Association rules, has also been warned about his future conduct.

He said the abuse he received from Judge which led to the clash was “the worst he had experienced as a referee”.

At a hearing, an independent regulatory commission was told Judge swore at Drysdale and described him as “cheating” and “bald”.

The commission has imposed a suspension which ran from 19 February to 10 March.

Drysdale will not officiate at an English Football League game this weekend or on Tuesday next week.

What happened?

The incident with Republic of Ireland international Judge came in the 90th minute of the Tractor Boys’ goalless draw with the Cobblers last month.

Drysdale briefly appeared to square up to Judge after the Ipswich player had claimed a penalty for a foul, before booking the 32-year-old for simulation.

The official said he “did not maintain his composure”in a statement apologising for his actions, before being charged with a breach of FA rules.

Why the backdated ban?

Drysdale is only paid for the matches he officiates.

He was removed from officiating at two EFL matches following the incident with Judge and has missed a further three fixtures he expected to be appointed to, as either a referee or fourth official.

The commission’s written reasons for its decision said Drysdale had “experienced direct punishment already” for his actions.

“It would be a disproportionate penalty for him to serve suspension of a (further) four matches from now,” it added.

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