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Linesman punch claim at Sussex kids’ football match
Police were called to a children’s football match after one of the linesmen allegedly punched a supporting father in the face.
The violent row is believed to have broken out after the dad called one of the assistant referees “a cheat” because he disallowed a goal at the under 11s match.
The game pitted young players from Crawley United against Oakwood Football Club, based in Maidenbower, Crawley.
A Sussex Police spokesman said: “Police were called to a children’s football match at Oakwood Football Club, Crawley, following a report that a 41-year-old man had been assaulted by the linesman.
“Officers arrived shortly before 1pm and the incident had appeared to have been resolved. The injured man declined medical attention.”
A Sussex FA spokesman added: “We have had a report of the alleged incident last Sunday (October 14).
“In accordance with FA regulations we will be investigating the report.
“Once everything is received we will consider whether charges are applicable.”
Nick Brown, who witnessed the incident, wrote on Twitter at the time: “I’m at a youth game at Oakwood and the game has been stopped because the linesman just punched a dad. It’s a U11 game.”
Mr Brown, who describes himself as Sussex and Kent Development Officer for Chelsea FC Foundation and Lewes FC assistant first team coach, did not want to comment further yesterday (October 19).
Sussex FA report
A spokesman from Oakwood FC said he had been told by Sussex FA not to talk about the incident.
He added: “We will wait until we have got the reports.”
Potential altercation Ken Benham, chief executive of Sussex FA, said: “There has been an allegation that there was a dispute between the assistant referee and a parent.
“There was a potential altercation after that but we don’t have evidence for that yet as the referee did not see it.
“We have the referee’s report and we are waiting for the club’s correspondence.
“Both clubs are well run clubs and I don’t recall anything of this particular nature happening before.”
If found guilty an individual could be suspended and the club could be fined.
Following the incident, players were taken to the opposite side of the pitch while tensions were calmed, allowing the game to be completed.
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