Thu Jun 23 11:01am EDT
In a supremely bizarre scene in Australia, an amateur footballer was shown a red card for a series of events that resulted from him playing with a genitalia piercing. And making it all the more surreal, the referee followed him into the dressing room to make sure he removed it right before sending him off anyway.
The player in question was Old Hill Wanderers captain Aaron Eccleston, and during a VicSoccer league match against Swinburne University reserves, the subject of his body piercing (which, as jewelry, is forbidden under the laws of the game) became the focus of attention. The Old Hill Wanderers' official website explains what happened:
During the first half, our player was struck in the groin by the ball, and left the field to receive attention. At this point the referee became aware that the he had a body piercing. He subsequently received two yellow cards, firstly for re-entering the field of play without the referee's permission, and secondly for privacy reasons being unable to prove that he had removed the piercing. At no point during the incident did the player of Old Hill Wanderers expose himself to the referee or to other players on the field.
Old Hill Wanderers FC is satisfied that the conduct of both the referee and our player was reasonable, and accepts that the two yellow cards given to the player were in accordance with the laws of football.
Old Hill Wanderers FC apologises to VicSoccer and the referee in question regarding the negative attention that may have been generated by this unfortunate event.
The video of the incident (with NSFW audio) can be seen here. It clearly shows the referee escort Eccleston into the dressing room, then a short time later the two come out and the ref promptly flashes his red card.
According to the Herald Sun, Eccleston refused to speak about the matter. But he did comment on Twitter. When asked how he feels about all of Melbourne knowing about his piercing, Eccleston said: "I don't think my mum's going to be particularly happy!"