The Football Association has said it is investigating “as a matter of urgency” an assault on a referee in an amateur match in Lancashire last weekend.
The referee, Dave Bradshaw, was admitted to hospital with what he described as “significant injuries” after he was attacked by a Platt Bridge player during a South Lancashire Counties league game against Wigan Rose.
Platt Bridge FC said: “We as a club do not condone any violence towards anyone in the football community. We are ashamed of what has happened, and the player is no longer playing with our team going forward. We as a team hope we can build our reputation back to what we have worked so hard for.”
The FA said the incident was one of two to have taken place in Lancashire last weekend. In a statement headed “Enough is enough” it said: “We are aware of incidents of assault on a match official and a player during matches played this weekend in Lancashire.
“We have been very clear that all forms of anti-social behaviour, abuse and assaults on match officials and participants are completely unacceptable and we will not tolerate this in the game. We are investigating the incidents as a matter of urgency, working with the Lancashire FA, who are liaising with the police and supporting the match official and player affected.”
Bradshaw tweeted while in hospital: “I’ll survive. Thanks for all the nice messages I’ve received. Up the refs.”
Ref Support UK, a registered charity dedicated to independent training, support and development of referees, welcomed the FA’s statement and tweeted: “They must make it clear what their idea is that #enoughisenough. No more holding statements no more soulless campaigns. Make changes now.”
It had earlier called on the FA to support referees who want to take action by not officiating for a week or two, and to support points deductions for teams found guilty of abusing or assaulting a referee. “They need to show they are not waiting for a match official to be murdered,” the organisation said.