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Lincoln condemns abuse towards female referee | club suspends player over betting charge

Lincoln City CEO Liam Scully condemns abuse aimed towards a female referee, and also suspends player Chris Maguire over a betting charge.

The Chief Executive of the League One outfit says a full investigation will be launched after some fans posted online abuse about the official following the men’s fixture at the weekend.

In a statement on the club’s website, Liam Scully praised the turnout for the female team’s game, but then turned to condemn the comments which appeared on social media during the men’s match, which he said “reflect poorly” on both the sport and the club.

The comments were made towards referee Rebecca Welch, after the Imps fell to a 4-0 defeat away to Peterborough United on Saturday the 20th of August.


Any commentary regarding this weekend must also reflect on the misogynistic abuse from a small number of our ‘fans’ aimed towards official Rebecca Welch, which somehow gained traction on social media and incomprehensibly gained supportive comments from other football ‘fans’. Not only do these comments by so few reflect poorly on our sport as a whole, and specifically our football club, it is also upsetting to hear and read about the severe impact this had on many of our fans. We risk years and years of hard work which has been undertaken by so many being undone in less than a blink of an eye.

With this, we will be launching a full investigation and, where evidence prevails, will not hesitate to take action against the perpetrators. Lincoln City is a club that prides itself on our inclusivity and our openness to welcome all.

To those of you who were impacted at the weekend, I wish to offer our apologies and reiterate our commitment to finding those responsible and taking suitable action. If you can help us with our investigation please email us at feedback@theredimps.com with details of your experience.



Meanwhile, Lincoln have also confirmed that they have suspended player Chris Maguire over a betting charge.

The club said: “Chris Maguire has been charged with misconduct under FA Rule E8. He has until August 30 to respond to the allegations. Chris has been suspended by Lincoln City without prejudice until further notice.”

The FA wrote: Maguire, who was told in the summer he wasn’t part of the manager’s plans, is alleged to have breached the FA’s strict betting rules during his time with Oxford United, Bury, Sunderland and the Imps. A short FA statement read: “Chris Maguire has been charged with misconduct in relation to an alleged breach of The FA’s Betting Rules. It is alleged that the Lincoln City FC forward breached FA Rule E8 by placing 52 bets on football matches between 17 March 2017 and 12 February 2022. Chris Maguire has until Tuesday 30 August to provide a response.”

Chris Maguire has been charged with misconduct in relation to an alleged breach of The FA’s Betting Rules.

Twitter users responded as Lincoln condemns misogynistic abuse aimed towards female referee Rebecca Welch in the defeat at Peterborough…

@ChristineF1: Well said @liamjscully

@xLepebble: Glad to see the clubs taking action. Its very easy to get annoyed at referees when decisions dont go our way but there is absolutely no need for the disgusting comments that were made yesterday.

@cookson_max: Brilliant response lucky to have Liam driving this club forward

@JackMulhall92: To offer some balance, I was surrounded by many pissed up “typical football fans” and didn’t hear a single thing.. a shame to see it happen but certainly (in my view) a minority.

@Sam_Wray: Thank you @liamjscully for addressing this!

@BFranklin1979: Brilliant response!!! Well done Liam. #UTI

@SWEuronics: Agree, chap next to us said “Get back to your ironing board” obviously single and his mum does his ironing.

@educbscott: Reading some of the comments on here reiterates the need for this statement. The referee being a ‘w*****r’ is not sexist or misogynistic – the referee yesterday was targeted because of her gender. It really is that simple.

@rajaircrewman: I watched it on ifollow (we are on holiday in Spain) and I thought the ref was ok actually.

@mtaylormj_mark: One young lad near me talking bollocks about her. Just embarrassed himself imo. It was a minority but unacceptable. Grow up.

@mrstulee: Rebecca Welch was impeccable at Peterborough v Lincoln. Got virtually every decision right – certainly everything close to being significant. Also kept the game flowing and clamped down on plyers stealing ground. She enhanced the game no end.

@yobculture: Definitely no place for that in our fanbase. Besides, the ref had a good game anyway, so those aiming comments at the ref are just like f*****g babies and need to grow up

@Steve1193imp: Somebody way behind us calling the ref in a derogatory way describing her impolitely as a lesbian to embarrassed by it all to bother looking and no excuses we were poor not the ref

@mickyboy909: Lincoln city were beaten by the better side and not by a referee who done a grand job 👌👏👏👏

@jeanneventers: From a posh season ticket holder . Very well said but what a shame you had to take action like this . Your fans were brilliant yesterday very vocal even when losing 4 0 . Thought the ref was very fair for both sides and posh were the better team on the day

@OiTruelove: @Rebecca__Welch was the best ref I have seen for a long time. Absolutely phenomenal, didn’t interfere with the game and every decision was spot on 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 #pufc

@dellyboot: We were in the thick of it today, the ref AND Lino made decisions that didn’t go our way. I tensed when there was a “You don’t know what your doing” but that’s it. Nothing different to any game. It’s sad if thats happened but didn’t witness it at all Atmosphere was great today 👏

@impyblue: Is this gonna be the same when it’s a male ref and sections of the crowd start chanting the refeeees a w****r!

@yourdcsnotts: Leadership…

@staceybunn90: This 🙌🔴⚪️🙌 I admit I wasn’t there yesterday due to work, but the comments coming to light are vile. No-one expects to go to work and be abused no matter what profession your in, no matter your gender age sex nothing. There is no excuse!

@ThatCallumDavis: Credit to @liamjscully, action needs to be taken, football is the beautiful game but some fans seem determined to ruin it for everyone.

@MrsGriffMusic: Brilliant response and hopefully the culprits will be identified and banned. There’s no room for misogyny in football @HerGameToo

On Chris Maguire’s betting charge…

@uptheimps_: ah nice way to end his time at the club, a shame because he’s actually played quite well so far this season.

@danrichards88: One way to get rid if nobody else wants him

@FrankeyZi: must have been betting on himself to hit the first man on every corner

@Capt_Fishpaste: Absolute wrong’un, Maguire. Him being so popular at #SAFC was one of the most telling signs of how far the standards at Sunderland had sank.

@lucywrayx: Oh dear 😬

@PeterJSmith1988: Chris Maguire naughty boy. Sign him on though #oufc

@chopperimp: What a 🐔.. blokes a 🤡

@brannaganszn: If he’s been suspended I wouldn’t mind him back. What a player he was for us 🐐

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