DARREN DRYSDALE will not referee this weekend after his heated clash with Ipswich's Alan Judge.
The official was charged with improper conduct by the FA following the confrontation with midfielder Judge on Tuesday night.
As a result, PGMOL, who represent the referees, have now replaced him with Declan Bourne for Southend's match with Bolton on Saturday.
A day after the incident, Drysdale issued a grovelling apology in a statement released by the PGMOL.
He said: "I fully understand that it is important to maintain our composure throughout the game and always engage with players in a professional manner.
"I'm sorry that I did not do that last night and I can only apologise to Alan and Ipswich Town."
Drysdale locked heads with Judge and then seemed to square up to him in the latter stages of the Portman Road clash against Northampton.
The ref is said to have flipped and used foul and abusive language when Judge insisted he had been brought down and not dived in a bid to win a spot kick.
The Ipswich midfielder responded to the episode on Wednesday night and told his club's website that Drysdale's reaction did not upset him.
Judge said: “Referees have a tough job to do and it was heat of the moment stuff that happens in football.
“The photo makes it look worse than it was and to be honest, the matter was finished with from my end as soon as I walked off the pitch.
“I wasn’t looking for the referee to apologise; I wasn’t looking for him to be charged. There was never going to be a complaint from me and I made that clear.
“Like I said, for me – it was finished with straight away.”
Aston Villa’s England internationals Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish both leapt to the ref's defence.
Mings Tweeted: “Everyone makes mistakes…..nothing to see here.”
Grealish added: “Ah come on?! No need to apologise at all! I think it’s brilliant."
But the FA did open an investigation, with Drysdale likely facing a three-game ban.
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