The referee who became involved in an angry confrontation with Republic of Ireland international Alan Judge has made a public apology.
Match official Darren Drysdale was in charge of last night's English League One clash between Judge's Ipswich Town and Northampton at Portman Road.
The Dubliner went down in the box in the latter stages of the scoreless draw and seemed to be protesting after he was penalised for simulation.
As the two men came together, Drysdale appears to lock heads with Judge before players from both sides attempted to diffuse the situation and he then flashed a yellow card at the Ipswich midfielder.
Drysdale made the apology in a statement released through the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL).
"I fully understand that it is important for us as referees to maintain our composure throughout the game and always engage with players in a professional manner," Drysdale said in the statement.
"I’m sorry that I did not do that last night and I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town."
The PGMOL statement added: "As The FA are now investigating the incident in line with their usual disciplinary process it would not be appropriate to make any further comments."
Referee Darren Drysdale appeared to square up to Alan Judge before booking the Ipswich player in their goalless draw against Northampton this evening. pic.twitter.com/ZexMTxYIx7
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) February 16, 2021
Ipswich boss Paul Lambert had already called for an investigation when he spoke after the match.
"I've texted Mike Jones [EFL head of referees] this morning to say have a look at the footage of the head thing," Lambert told Talksport.
"It looks as if the referee went in there and I said to him after the game, 'Did you put your head in my player?'
"He couldn't answer it and that's the reason I spoke to Mike. I haven't seen that in a long, long while."
Drysdale has been working in the English League since beginning as an assistant referee in 1996 and he has run the line in the Premier League.
He became a FIFA assistant referee in 2000 and was appointed to the Football League national list of referees four years later.