Dorchester Town's mankini red card player escapes ban

A non-league footballer who was sent off for tackling a pitch invader who was dressed in a mankini has escaped a three-match ban.

Dorchester Town's player-manager Ashley Vickers, 39, said he thought he was doing the stewards a favour by tackling Alan Young during the match on 7 March.

Vickers said he was "dumbfounded" by the red card and the Conference South club lodged an appeal last week.

The FA said the red card still stands but it has withdrawn the match ban.

Borat film

The organisation said the referee was right to dismiss the defender for violent conduct under the laws of the game but said the circumstances were exceptional - hence the withdrawal of the ban.

The incident happened during Dorchester's game away to Havant and Waterlooville.

The score was at 1-1 at the time, with Vickers' team going on to suffer a 3-1 defeat.

Vickers told BBC News: "I am absolutely delighted that common sense has prevailed and I can get on with the important things for this club.

"I understand why they have made the decision to leave the red card on my record... but my record is full of red cards so one more won't make a difference.

Image caption Ashley Vickers told BBC News he was delighted "common sense had prevailed"

"I am thankful for all the support from the chairman, board, players and fans and thankful for the positive public opinion which I think has helped in my favour."

Pitch invader Mr Young had evaded the attention of three officials for about 30 seconds before he was pulled to the ground.

The Havant and Waterlooville fan admitted he ran on to the pitch for a bet and the club has since been charged with supporter misconduct by the FA.

Mr Young told BBC News last week: "It was only a bit of a joke.

"We all agreed at my local pub on Sunday I'd do it as a bet.

"The security there were too slow but Vickers caught me quite well. He should be a rugby player."

The mankini was made famous by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who wore the garment in his 2006 film Borat.

It was not the first time a sportsman has clashed with a pitch invader.

A similar incident happened during cricket's 1982-83 Ashes series in Perth when Australian pace bowler Terry Alderman captured an England fan who had run on to the pitch and slapped him.

Alderman dislocated his shoulder as a result and was sidelined for 18 months.

Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds escaped punishment in 2008 after he tackled a nude streaker during an international match against India.

The International Cricket Council decided Symonds had not breached section 4.2 of the players' code of conduct relating to physical assault on a player, official or spectator.

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