Suffolk football referee says players’ behaviour has got worse after three admit threatening behaviour towards fellow official

Referee abandoned match

Referee abandoned match - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Three Sunday league footballers have accepted community resolutions for threatening behaviour after a police inquiry into allegations made by the referee of their game.

The investigation centred on a match between Queens FC and Legion Warriors FC at Bucklesham playing field on May 15 which had to be abandoned.

A community resolution allows officers to use their judgment over how to deal proportionately with lower risk crime.

It is primarily aimed at first-time offenders where genuine remorse has been expressed and the victim has agreed they do no want more formal action to be taken.

Suffolk FA also conducted its own inquiry and has said the players involved in the incident were given a fine and two-match ban.

The match had to be abandoned with the score at 3-2 to Queens.

At the time it was called off the experienced official had issued three yellow cards and two red cards during the game.

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The official made a complaint to police the day after the game, saying he had been refereeing the match when the alleged incidents occurred.

Cat Cowie, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, confirmed the investigation had been concluded.

She said: “Two men in their 20s and one man in his 30s were questioned by police and all three admitted committing an offence under Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

“Following consultation with all parties concerned, the three men were issued with community resolutions and given words of advice by police regarding their conduct.”

Nick Garnham, a spokesman for Suffolk FA, said the organisation had also taken action.

He said: “Three players were found guilty of improper conduct using offensive language to a match official and given a fine and two-match ban each.

“A fourth player was cleared of any wrongdoing from an alleged physical contact with a match official charge.”

On its website Suffolk FA champions the national Football Association’s Respect programme.

The initiative aims to improve behaviour in football, on and off the field of play.

The Suffolk FA websites states: “Over the 2015-16 season, Suffolk FA are committed to successfully implementing the Respect programme and improving the standards of youth and adult football throughout the county.

“The programme has been around since 2008 and improvements are now being seen, with the number of referees increasing, the amount of discipline for dissent reducing and players saying they are now gaining more enjoyment from the game.”