A BALLARAT referee has called a premature ending to a controversial Ballarat District Soccer Association division one clash between Warrnambool Rangers and Vic Park on Sunday.
The referee signalled time less than 20 minutes into the contest at Warrnambool’s Jones Oval following a heavy collision between Rangers coach Nick Van Rooy and Park’s Jaike Ludwig that left the latter hospitalised.
The incident occurred when Ludwig got hold of a through ball and was called offside seconds before being met solidly by Van Rooy.
The referee surprised many by blowing the final whistle as Park players lodged verbal requests as to why Van Rooy wasn’t carded.
It remains unclear why the match had been called off, but representatives from both clubs deny any offensive language was used towards the referee, or each other.
Warrnambool was 2-0 up at the time and both outfits are waiting for a final verdict to dictate whether the match will be rescheduled, or if Warrnambool will receive the three points.
Ludwig remains hospitalised with a suspected torn anterior cruciate ligament.
BDSA secretary Jeremy Irvine declined to comment on specific details of the collision, saying he preferred to wait until the referee’s match report was submitted to the investigation and disciplinary board.
The BDSA expects a match report and incident report to be lodged in coming days, and will be looked at immediately by the independent three-person board.
Park coach Lucas Ellis labelled the result as “very frustrating”, but defended his players’ reaction to Van Rooy’s tackle.