HERTFORD , England, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- A referee at a non-league soccer game in England said he had to eject a parrot that was distracting players by mimicking the game whistle.
Gary Bailey, a referee in the game between Hatfield Town and Hertford Heath in Hertfordshire County, said the parrot began creating confusion on and off the playing field by mimicking the referee's whistle about 10 minutes into the game's second half, The Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.
"I've never known anything like it in my football career," Bailey said. "It was a big game and there were quite a lot of people there. This woman was standing right by the touchline and suddenly unveiled a big cage with this big green parrot in it. I didn't mind at first. But then every time I blew my whistle the bird made exactly the same sound."
"The players all stopped so I had to ask her to move the parrot," he said. "It was bizarre. The crowd were all laughing."
"Looking back I should have made far more of it and got out my red card to show to the parrot," the referee said.
Hatfield Town defeated Hertford Heath 5-2 in overtime.