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Commonwealth Games 2002

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Monday, 14 January, 2002, 17:11 GMT
Ref scored own goal
Brian Savill, 47
Brian Savill said refs are not "Hitlers" blowing whistles
A referee who scored for a team losing 18-1 has resigned after being told by the Football Association that he would be suspended.

Brian Savill said he had not expected to be dealt with so harshly and accused football's governing body of having no "sense of humour".

Although he admits what he did was wrong, Mr Savill, a Royal Mail manager, said he expected at most a "slap on the wrist" and a written warning.

"It shows refereeing can be enjoyable and that we are not Hitlers running around blowing whistles all the time," he said.

Volleyed goal

But after learning that he would be suspended for seven weeks, Mr Savill, from Colchester, Essex, has decided to resign.

Mr Savill , who has 18 years experience, was refereeing a game between Earls Colne and Wimpole 2000 last September.

As the ball came off a player's head, he volleyed it into the back of the net.

"I shouldn't have done it, but it was done in the best of humour," he said.

Mr Savill was reported by the Essex County Football Association for bringing the game into disrepute.

"Half of me says I do regret doing it because I did not think it would lead to this.

"But the other half says I'm glad I did because it brought enjoyment to everyone's lives."

Mr Savill has the right of appeal to the Football Association in London, but said he believes it was pressure from them that "dictated" the decision at county level.

Phil Sammon, chief executive of Essex County Football Association, said: "We found we came to a fair decision and a fair punishment has been given."


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See also:

27 Sep 01 | Funny Old Game
Referee's sympathy strike
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