Suffolk Sunday league football spitting probe player banned

A Sunday league footballer has been banned for at least 12 months and fined £150 after spitting at a referee during a match in Suffolk.

The unnamed Chantry Old Boys player admitted the offence ahead of a hearing held by Suffolk Football Association.

The incident happened during a local league match against Playford, at Chantry Park, Ipswich, on 1 April.

Phil Knight, chief executive of Suffolk FA, said he hoped the punishment would "act as a deterrent".

The DMR Ipswich Sunday League match was abandoned in the 87th minute following the incident, with Playford winning 3-2.

'Substantial fine'

Mr Knight said: "I hope this will act as a deterrent to anyone who considers abusing or assaulting referees."

He said the ban from playing football for any club, which will be reviewed in a year, was set according to FA guidelines.

Arthur Smith, general secretary of the Referees' Association, said: "With this sort of fine and punishment, it sends out a clear message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.

"It's quite a lengthy ban and quite a substantial fine. Some may say it's not enough. Some may say it's too harsh."

No one from Chantry Old Boys was available for comment. A club spokesman previously said the player had been banned from the side.

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