London, July 13 : A footie referee has been suspended for alleged alcohol abuse after he had to be helped off the pitch at a Belarus league match.
Sergei Shmolik, who officiated at Wembley for England's 6-0 victory over Luxembourg in 1999, was escorted off the pitch, ostensibly because of back pain, at the end of Saturday's match between Vitebsk and Naftan.
The stadium crowd was stunned by Shmolik's peculiar behaviour, reports The Sun.
The referee was hardly moving by the end of the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, as he officiated the game from the centre circle, refusing to go to his pocket for any cards throughout.
Tests showed Shmolik, 43, had a huge level of alcohol in his blood while in charge of the Belarus Premier League game.