English soccer referee Darren Drysdale has been handed a back-dated suspension for squaring up to Ipswich midfielder Alan Judge in a League One match.
Drysdale was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association over the incident which happened during the League One match against Northampton at Portman Road on February 16.
The 50-year-old Lincolnshire official confronted Judge and then appeared to lean his head into the Republic of Ireland international after the midfielder's appeal for a penalty had been turned down.
Drysdale subsequently apologised for his actions, with then Ipswich manager Paul Lambert asking for the matter to be investigated.
Drysdale has not refereed a match since the incident, after being removed from two EFL matches following the confrontation, but will now be available to officiate again.
On Thursday, the FA confirmed an independent regulatory commission had given Drysdale a back-dated suspension and warning as to his future behaviour for a breach of the rules.
A statement read: "The match official admitted that his behaviour ... amounted to improper conduct.
"The suspension, which ran from 19 February 2021 to 10 March 2021, and warning were imposed by the independent Regulatory Commission during a subsequent hearing."
Judge, meanwhile, stressed he was not looking for an apology or for any action to be taken, saying: "Referees have a tough job to do and it was heat of the moment stuff that happens in football."
The written reasons behind the decision were also published by the FA.
In his statement, Drysdale offered an explanation of his behaviour after watching as Judge "exaggerates his fall in a desperate attempt to gain a penalty kick for his team."
"I then processed what had happened for a few seconds before blowing my whistle and decided to caution Alan Judge for an act of trying to deceive a match official.
"As I blew my whistle Alan Judge shouted aggressively in a loud voice at me and from a distance of only 5 metres 'It's a ******* penalty you cheating bald ****!'
"Reacting completely out of character, I took exception to what I considered to be an offensive comment.
"I walked towards Alan Judge who then continued his tirade of abuse as he then, what I deemed as, aggressively and provokingly pointed his finger towards my face and shouted: 'You're a ****ing cheating ****!'.
"I accept that I should not have moved my head towards Alan Judge as this only inflamed the situation."
Following the FA's announcement, Judge released his own strongly-worded rebuttal against claims from the referee about what had been said.
In a statement on the Ipswich website, Republic of Ireland international Judge said he had never used the C word.