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Spencer banned for three years
4:24pm Tuesday 22nd October 2013 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
A FOOTBALLER who assaulted a referee after he had been shown a red card has been banned from playing for three years.
Joe Spencer, of Worcester League Saturday Division team Arrow 2000, pleaded guilty to attacking Richard Walker during the Worcestershire FA Minor Cup first round match against Welland last month.
It took place after he had been given his marching orders for violent conduct towards an opponent in the match, which Welland were leading 5-3 with a minute to play. They have since been awarded the victory.
The 30-year-old was handed a blanket ban until September 27, 2016, by the Worcestershire Football Association and fined £150.
Spencer, who has 14 days to appeal the sanction, also faces a separate seven-match suspension which will be served once his three-year ban has expired.
That punishment is made up of the red card against Welland, which carries a four-game suspension as it was his second sending off of the season, for which he received a three-game ban.
Worcestershire FA disciplinary manager Chris Dale said: “Following a disciplinary commission by the Worcestershire FA, the case of improper conduct (assault on a match official) has been found proved.
“The player had pleaded guilty to the charge. He has been suspended for a period of 1,095 days and fined £150.
“The suspension starts from October 1, the date when Mr Spencer was charged, and ends on September 27, 2016.
“Once the term is complete, Mr Spencer will then serve a seven-match suspension relating to on-field offences committed prior to the charge.”
He added: “We take incidents like this very seriously and hopefully this will send out a message that assaulting match referees is something that we don’t tolerate.”
It is not the first time Spencer has been in trouble with the football authorities after he was found guilty of improper and violent conduct for allegedly punching an opponent in April 2012 and banned for three games.
Meanwhile, the Sunday League Division Three game between GDL Athletic and Colwall Village, abandoned after 81 minutes due to a back injury sustained by Colwall goalkeeper Ryan Clarke earlier this month, will be replayed.
However, the league are waiting for the Worcestershire FA to conclude their investigation before ruling on the Division Five match between Riverside and Leigh and Bransford Badgers.
Riverside were leading 3-0 at Pitchcroft when play was stopped with 11 minutes left after a player from each side was sent off. It is then alleged that Leigh and Bransford refused to play on.
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