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'No need for the apology' - Alan Judge has no qualms with referee following on-field confrontation

‘It was heat-of-the-moment stuff that happens in football,’ said the Ireland international. ‘I wasn’t looking for him to be charged.’

Referee Darren Drystale briefly went head to head with the Ireland international.
Referee Darren Drystale briefly went head to head with the Ireland international.

IPSWICH TOWN AND Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan Judge has said there was “no need” for Darren Drysdale to apologise after an on-field incident during which the English referee briefly squared up to him amid a penalty appeal in the 90th minute.

The 49-year-old official was charged with improper conduct by the English FA on Wednesday despite publicly apologising for his role in the confrontation which occurred during a League One encounter between Ipswich and Northampton on Tuesday night.

Judge, 30, stressed that he neither sought Drysdale’s apology nor the FA charge brought against him, describing the incident as “heat-of-the-moment stuff that happens in football” and claiming “the matter was closed” from his perspective upon the conclusion of the game.

“Referees have a tough job to do and it was heat-of-the-moment stuff that happens in football,” Judge said.

“The photo makes it look worse than it was and to be honest, the matter was finished with from my end as soon as I walked off the pitch.

“I wasn’t looking for the referee to apologise; I wasn’t looking for him to be charged. There was never going to be a complaint from me and I made that clear.

“Like I said, for me – it was finished with straight away.”

Judge reiterated his stance in a tweet sent on Wednesday night, adding: “There was no need for an apology. I wasn’t looking for one or looking for any action to be taken.

“We all make mistakes and for me that is the end of this.”

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On Wednesday afternoon, referee Drysdale issued an apology to both club and player through the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), 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. I’m sorry that I did not do that last night and I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town.”

However, he was later that same day charged with improper conduct by the FA for “a breach of FA Rule E3″, with the association’s statement adding: “It is alleged that the match official’s behaviour during the 90th minute of the game amounts to improper conduct and he has until Thursday 4 March 2021 to provide a response.”

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert had previously confirmed to talkSport that he had personally contacted Mike Jones, head of EFL referees, calling for the incident to be investigated.

Lambert said early on Wednesday: “I’ve text Mike Jones this morning to say have a look at the footage of the head thing.

“To me, in my opinion, it looks as if the referee went in there and I said to him after the game, ‘Did you put your head in my player?’

“He couldn’t answer it and that’s the reason I spoke to Mike. I haven’t seen that in a long, long while.”

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