Deaf football player sent off after missing whistle

Kilsyth player PJ will miss next two games after being sent off
Kilsyth player PJ will miss next two games after being sent off
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A DEAF footballer ended up being sent off in a Lothians cup tie because he kept playing after the referee had blown his whistle.

Philip John Dolan – known as PJ – went on to score a goal, not realising that he had been ruled offside during the Armadale vs Kilsyth match on Hogmanay.

As he turned to celebrate he was immediately given a yellow card for failing to stop playing.

The card stood despite protests that he could not have heard the whistle and, when PJ picked up a second yellow for allegedly diving just moments later, he was sent off, leading to a probable two-game suspension.

The 24-year-old’s father told the Evening News he is furious at the decisions taken by referee Gavin Duncan during the Scottish Junior Cup third-round replay at Albyn Park in Broxburn.

He said the referee was told the Kilsyth player – who also plays for both the Great Britain and Scottish deaf football teams – was deaf before the first game and should have been aware of the issue.

Mr Dolan, 64, said: “The whistle went and Philip carried on. The linesman put the flag up but he didn’t see it and he kept going and scored the goal but he was offside.

“He is profoundly deaf and usually plays further back in right midfield, where he can see what’s going on but on this occasion he was brought on as a sub and was playing up front for the centre forward.

“Before he got his first yellow card, it was explained to the ref why he hadn’t stopped playing but the ref obviously didn’t care and gave him it anyway. Everybody was raging.”

Mr Dolan, who lives in Chryston, said PJ had been left “upset” by the incident. He added: “He’s a good player but would be an even better player if he wasn’t deaf. All he loves in life is football. I was upset by what happened at that game and so was he.

“He will be suspended now for about two games so that’s making him worse.”

A whistle is rarely used in games between all-deaf teams, with referees using a bright flag.Mr Dolan said the Kilsyth manager, Eric Sinclair, always explained to referees that PJ was deaf. Mr Sinclair told Mr Duncan – who is understood to be part of the SFA Referees Edinburgh and District – about PJ during the original tie four weeks ago, but did not mention it again before the game on Hogmanay, which Kilsyth won 2-0, as he thought he would remember. It is not known whether the club will appeal the decision but the SFA declined to comment. Referree Mr Duncan could not be contacted for comment.