Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In an unusual incident, officials were stunned when a fan chased match referee Craig Hicks off the field during a League One match between Port Vale and Portsmouth on Saturday.

The incident reportedly happened after Hicks awarded a penalty to Portsmouth in the 88th minute, which Colby Bishop converted, resulting in Port Vale suffering a 1-0 defeat at their home stadium Vale Park. Seconds earlier, Hicks had denied Port Vale a free-kick.

“We are appalled by the incident. We condemn the mindless actions of the individual involved,” said EFL in an official statement.

Match officials should never feel threatened for their safety when playing a pivotal role in the staging of games in our competitions. We will provide our full support to Craig and his team alongside Port Vale and the relevant authorities as they seek to bring this individual to justice,” the statement added.

Port Vale also condemned the action of the fan in an official statement.

“We will work with the relevant authorities to ensure the matter and the individual is dealt with a zero tolerance approach. We remind all supporters that entering the field of play is a criminal offence,” the statement read.