Darren Drysdale: Referee who clashed with Ipswich's Alan Judge not assigned an EFL game this weekend

Referee Darren Drysdale has not been assigned an EFL game to officiate this weekend – two weeks on from his on-field confrontation with Ipswich’s Alan Judge.

Drysdale, who was charged by the FA with improper conduct after squaring up to Judge, has not officiated a match since the incident during Ipswich’s 0-0 draw with Northampton on February 18.

The 50-year-old official apologised for the incident, saying: “I fully understand that it is important for us as referees to maintain our composure throughout the game and always engage with players in a professional manner.”

Ipswich’s Judge responded: “There was no need for an apology. I wasn’t looking for one or looking for any action to be taken.

“In football as everybody knows stuff happens in the heat of the moment in a game. We all make mistakes and for me that is the end of this.”


Both exchanged words in the 90th minute after the midfielder’s appeal for a penalty had been turned down before the 49-year-old Lincolnshire official leant into Judge.

Ipswich pair Flynn Downes and Jack Lankester and Northampton defender Lloyd Jones stepped in and calmed the situation before Drysdale booked Judge.

Then-Ipswich boss Paul Lambert, who left the club on Sunday, urged the FA to “do the right thing” in its handling of the incident and confirmed that he had spoken to Mike Jones (head of EFL referees) regarding the incident.

“I think the apology is very soft – it’s easy to say sorry after the event,” Lambert told Sky Sports News. “What happened was incredible, I’ve never seen that, for a referee to go head-to-head with a player.

“He had to get pulled away by the Northampton players and at that time he’s out of control. What would have happened to Alan Judge if he’d done that to the referee? He’d have been looking at a six-month ban, a one-year ban and a massive fine.”

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