A pitch invader wearing a Mexican wrestling mask showed the referee a red card during a Capital Football Premier League match in Canberra on Saturday.
In the Under-20’s and 1st Grade Round 4, Cooma Tigers visited Woden Weston at their Melrose Synthetic ground.
*Unusual story of the day*
A pitch invader entered the field during Cooma v Woden-Weston in Australia, wearing a Mexican wrestling mask & brandished the ref with a red card.
Players then ripped off the mask, it turns out he was a former referee.
He's now banned for 10 years. pic.twitter.com/IMECAUXAZp
— bet365 (@bet365) May 7, 2019
However the game was interrupted when someone managed to get onto the pitch midway through the second half.
The man brandished a red card at ref Alex McConachie while hiding his face with a Mexican wrestling mask, before it was forcibly removed by some of the players.
GOAL! Cooma Tigers in Australia Capital Territory
Woden Weston 1-3 Cooma Tigers
— Football Live Scores (@ftg_soccer) May 4, 2019
The pitch invader is reported to be a former referee in the midst of staging a protest against the treatment of officials in Canberra over the past 12 months.
Despite not being able to name him, the game’s governing body’s chief executive Phil Brown said:
We reviewed those incident reports that came in, as well as the footage of the match, and we have issued the person we believe entered the field with a 10-year suspension from all football activities.
They can’t go to watch a [local] game, they can’t go to a Socceroos or Matildas match.
We’re going to escalate that up to FFA and request that become a national ban.
Brown insisted the punishment was justified:
As you can imagine, it’s not a nice experience having someone with a mask on run at you directly in a game.
It left the referee feeling quite threatened and intimidated.
It’s quite scary.
You’ve got to remember this is a referee doing their thing on a football field.
If that happened in a service station, that’s quite a serious thing, so it’s quite a serious thing for football as well.