'I won’t stand by and be accused of saying something I didn’t' - Judge hits back at referee Drysdale
- Credit: Steve Waller
Alan Judge has hit back at referee Darren Drysdale following accusations made by the official after the pair’s clash last month.
Drysdale squared up to Judge after penalising him for diving in the final minutes of Town’s 0-0 draw with Northampton on February 16, with the referee claiming the Ipswich midfielder called him a ‘cheating, bald c***’ during the incident.
Drysdale said the abuse was the ‘worst I’ve received as a referee’ as part of a statement to an independent FA disciplinary commission, which ultimately gave him a retrospective four-game ban for his actions.
Neither Ipswich or Judge, who has recently returned from compassionate leave following the death of his mother, offered a formal response to the commission but Judge has now issued a statement disputing Drysdale’s version of events.
“I said the incident was over as far as I was concerned when I walked off the pitch and that I wasn’t looking for an apology,” Judge said in a statement on the club’s website.
“I didn’t want to make anything of it because it’s a tough job being a referee but I’m not going to keep quiet when I’ve been accused of calling the referee a cheat and using the C word.
“I’ll admit using the F word but I said to him ‘you have got to be F…… joking me and I said that a couple of times to him. I never used the C word. I don't use that word and I didn't call him a cheat.
“My mum passed away last week - which is far more important than this - and I don’t need this hassle to be honest. Like I said, the matter was closed but I’ve got a decent reputation in the game and I won’t stand by and be accused of saying something I didn’t and not responding.
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“Our media team have got some audio and it backs me up. Some people have said I should have come out straightaway and explained what I said but I didn’t want to do that. I was trying to help Darren. I said the matter was finished and it was but I have to make it clear now that I totally dispute what has been said by the referee.”
Drysdale’s statement reads: “Alan Judge then, in my opinion, exaggerates his fall in a desperate attempt to gain a penalty kick for his team.
“I then processed what had happened for a few seconds before blowing my whistle and decided to caution Alan Judge for an act of trying to deceive a match official.
“As I blew my whistle Alan Judge shouted aggressively in a loud voice at me and from a distance of only five metres ‘It's a f***ing penalty you cheating bald c***!’.
“Reacting completely out of character, I took exception to what I considered to be an offensive comment. I walked towards Alan Judge who then continued his tirade of abuse as he then, what I deemed as, aggressively and provokingly pointed his finger towards my face and shouted, ‘You're a fucking cheating c**!”.
“I accept that I should not have moved my head towards Alan Judge as this only inflamed the situation. At no time was there any physical contact between myself and Alan Judge.
“My action of moving forward was as a posture of authority and with the player being significantly shorter than me, this led to me looking down at him. I then issued a yellow card to Alan Judge for his exaggerated fall.”
Judge insisted he did not want the matter pursued and that he considered the matter closed once he’d left the pitch that night, with neither the midfielder or Ipswich Town offering a formal submission to the hearing.