A gay football referee claims he was expelled after speaking out against homophobic abuse.

Web designer Joe Richardson, from Dundee, told the Daily Record: “I sent off a player for violent conduct. Straight after that, I gave a free kick right in front of that team’s touchline. All I heard from one guy was ‘faggot’ and ‘fat poof’.

“Later, I came off the pitch at full-time, I could hear a couple of players shouting ‘fat poof’.

“My partner told me that one of them said to him, ‘I hope you’re proud of your boyfriend, I’ll punch your fucking teeth in.’

“I phoned the referees association and was told I would have to deal with it myself. They stated that it was a criminal matter. They didn’t bother checking how I was coping. There was no concern.”

Mr Richardson claims Angus and Perthshire Referees Association axed him after he spoke out about them on Facebook.

The 29-year-old has been a referee for 12 years.

He added: “Because I publicly stated that, in my opinion, they don’t care about the referees, they took umbrage.”

Police are investigating the alleged homophobic abuse.

A spokesman at the Scottish Football Association said: “We can’t comment as the SFA will ultimately become the appeal body if the individual decides to take it further.”