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Roscommon County Board considers what action to take after alleged assault on referee

Footage of the lead-up to the incident and part of the immediate aftermath was widely available on social media last week

Roscommon referee Kevin Naughton lies unconscious after being allegedly attacked during an U-17 football match in Ballyforan.

Dermot CroweSunday World

Roscommon County Board's competitions control committee is still deliberating on what action to take after a referee ended up in hospital following a minor football match on Wednesday week last.

Experienced match official Kevin Naughton suffered injury after it was alleged he was pushed by a team mentor that led to him losing his balance and hitting his head off the ground.

He had just issued a red card when the incident occurred early in the second half of the under-17 group championship match between the hosts and neighbours St Dominics at Ballyforan.

Footage of the lead-up to the incident and part of the immediate aftermath was widely available on social media last week, captured by a spectator on a phone camera. The incident itself was not displayed but it’s understood that county board officers have seen the full version.

An official recording of the match, which had to be abandoned early in the second half, was handed over to the Gardai at their request by St Aidans. It is believed that a criminal prosecution is unlikely.

The club is now awaiting the outcome of the investigation, with the accused mentor facing the possibility of a lengthy ban of up to 96 weeks which is the maximum suspension allowed.

Sources say that the referee has made a good recovery.

The match will not be replayed as both clubs have already, based on subsequent results in the group stages, made it to the semi finals on opposite sides of the draw.

Roscommon referees downed tools last weekend in protest at the incident but have since resumed duties.


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