Referee refutes racist remark claims

A REFEREE has refuted claims that he made a racist remark at a player he was red-carding.

Referee Alistair Aitken was punched in the face as he was about to red card Brazilian Jean Ferreira during an East of Scotland Premier League match.

Jean Ferreira, 27, of Royston Place, Edinburgh, has admitted assaulting the referee but claimed he only slapped the match official.

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Procurator fiscal depute Bob Morrison told Sheriff Kenneth Robb that the accused claimed he had been called a 'wee foreigner'.

Mr Morrison said the referee had denied the accusation and had again written to the Court saying he did not make any remark.

Sheriff Robb has ordered a special hearing to take place at Kirkcudbright Sheriff Court next January.

The Sheriff said that as the two versions from the Crown and the accused were quite different, a proof in mitigation would be an

appropriate way of dealing with it.

The Court heard that Mr Aitken was left with a burst lip, swollen side of the face and a loose tooth after the incident at Islecroft Stadium, Dalbeattie in May when Dalbeattie Star were playing Edinburgh City.

The fiscal said Mr Aitken, from Annan, was refereeing the match when he called over City midfielder Ferreira with the intention of red-carding him. But he was punched in the face by Ferreira, fell to the ground and was then helped by players and officials.

Ferreira had been ordered to appear personally in Court after pleading guilty by letter to assaulting Mr Aitken.

Police were called to the ground during a night game on May 22 this year and the accused was detained and interviewed. He claimed that he had got the ball in a normal tackle. Mr Morrison said Ferreira claimed he had slapped the referee after he had been disrespectful and called him a 'wee foreigner.'

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Ferreira told the Sheriff: "I know I did something wrong and should not have hit him. I was angry and hit him. I was kept in the dressing room and was not able to apologise to the referee. My team mates told me later that it was not the referee but someone from the other team."

Sheriff Robb deferred sentence and called for reports to be prepared on the accused.