Police are probing a claim that a football referee was violently assaulted during a match played in the Waterside on Saturday.
BBOB (Boys’ Brigade Old Boys) were winning the NW Premier Division game against Caw 5-2 at the time, but were reduced to nine men by a second sending-off mid-way through the second half.
It is alleged that the referee was verbally attacked before being punched by the player who had just been sent off.
The referee immediately abandoned the game and has since reported the incident to both the PSNI and the North West Football Association (NWFA).
“At this minute in time the association can confirm that they are looking into an alleged incident, where Caw’s match with BBOB was abandoned because a player was believed to have struck a match official,” stated Damien McGee, North West Match Secretary.
“The incident will be dealt with by the association as a matter of urgency.”
The PSNI confirmed that it had also become involved.
“Police are investigating a report that a man was assaulted during a football match in the city on Saturday (7th). Enquiries are ongoing,” said a PSNI statement.
As for BBOB, who only a few weeks ago claimed the Summer Cup following a convincing 8-0 victory over Drummond United in the final, a spokesman condemned any violence towards a match official
“The matter is now with the NWFA, NWJL (North West Junior League),” he continued.
The player in question could be suspended for a number of years, as the rule for assaulting a match official by the Irish Football Association Disciplinary code is ‘a minimum six month suspension for assaulting a match official and a minimum fine of £75 will be imposed on their club’. But a longer suspension is also possible.