7:08pm Tuesday 22nd May 2012
FOOTBALLERS could be given the red card from a village football field for turning the air blue.
Dedham Parish Council has received scores of complaints from residents fed up with hearing foul language from footballers during matches and practice sessions.
Outraged parents have even refused to take their children to the playing field in case players are overheard using other abusive language.
Now the council has threatened to ban the village’s football club altogether.
Roy Laverick, chairman of Dedham Parish Council, said: “The problem we have is the football pitch is pretty much in the middle of the village. As result, we get complaints from residents and visitors to the village, that they are subjected to abusive language, or overhear abusive language, and it detracts from their visit to Dedham. This is something which causes the parish council quite a bit of anguish.”
Concerned councillors have even taken to carrying out spot checks at football matches to see if any bad language is used.
A meeting was held between the football club, Dedham Old Boys, and the parish council to discuss the issue. Mr Laverick said the problem was it was down to the referee to suppress bad language.
However, he said sometimes the language had been reported in the absence of a referee, when the club met to practice on Wednesday evenings.
He added: “We hope the meeting we had has brought home to them, we are not messing around. We really do want to get to the bottom of this.”
He said banning football would be the “ultimate sanction”.
He said: “Both sides hope it will never come to this. Football has been played on that pitch since the 1890s and it would be sad if this crucial element of village life ceased to continue.” Dell Bower, president of Dedham sports club, speaking on behalf of Dedham Old Boys, said: “I sincerely apologise to everybody who has been affected.
“It is something we absolutely abhor. I will certainly make sure the most is done to solve this problem.”
Mr Bower added the club intended to monitor language at the club’s first four games of the season and then have another meeting with the council to review the matter.
The club pays the council a peppercorn rent to use the pitch between August and May, but one of the conditions of the lease is bad language is not used.
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