Unlucky number 7

A football match descended into chaos after a bungling official put up the wrong substitution board - blaming a “German 7” for his mistake.

The mix up resulted in the wrong player being taken off - and the manager being SENT off during a ten minute delay.

The game between Torquay and Woking on Tuesday night came to a temporary halt in the 68th minute when the Gulls tried to make a substitution.

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But the fourth official mistakenly put up the wrong board when new signing Simon Heslop came on - with Alex Fisher, who wore the number 17 shirt, making way.

Fisher duly ran from the pitch only to be caught by Torquay manager Paul Cox and sent back on, pointing out the board should have said 7 - for Louis Briscoe.

After 10 minutes of arguing Fisher was forced to leave the pitch and Briscoe told to go back on.

The mess occurred because the fourth official had interpreted coach Kenny Veysey’s “German” 7 as 17.

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Cox, who was sent to the stand after the flare up, said: “The fourth official told us the paperwork said 17 - but it said 7.

“All the referee needed to do was show common sense, which is sometimes hard for them, but the whole thing erupted.

“I don’t want to say too much regarding the officials because it is usually the manager or officials from the football club that get into trouble.”

A seven with a line through it is commonly written in Germany, and elsewhere in Europe, to distinguish it from the number 1.