Young footballer with Tourette s Owen Thompson banned for swearing at the ref
Young footballer with Tourette's Owen Thompson banned for swearing at the ref

A 14-year-old footballer who suffers from Tourette's syndrome has been barred for playing because he swore at the referee.

Owen Thompson was handed a two-match ban and forced to pay £25 for using offensive language, The Sun reported.

The young goalkeeper reportedly told the offical to "f*** off" after a goal was controversially awarded against his team.

Owen's mother, Melanie Burgess, slammed the decision to suspend her son as “ridiculous”.

“After the game the referee went over to Owen’s manager. He showed the referee the medical card that shows Owen has Tourette’s syndrome," she said.

“But last week we learnt he has been given a two-match ban and a £25 fine. It’s ridiculous.

“Football is a really important part of his life.”

The boy's club, Ware Youth, paid £10 to appeal the decision, but it was still upheld by the Hertfordshire FA.

The boss of the local FA said it was a lack of respect, not the swearing, which led to the ban.

“The player swore at the referee twice and then walked away and refused to talk to the referee when asked to explain his actions," Hertfordshire FA chief executive Nick Perchard said.

“The committee decided that the lack of respect shown to the match official was not connected to his medical condition."

However, in a minor victory, Owen's suspension was reduced to one match and his fine down to £10.

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