Manitoba Soccer to Hold Hearing After Alleged Attack on Referee

The governing body for soccer in the province says it plans to hold a hearing as soon as possible after a player allegedly attacked a referee during a game in Winnipeg last week.

The incident happened last Thursday at the Vince Leah Recreation Centre on Salter Street when a 56-year-old official was allegedly punched in the head and then kicked twice by a 28-year-old player. The man, who plays for Winnipeg Croatia, had just been given a yellow card by the referee. When he argued the call the official reached for another card and that’s what the assault is alleged to have taken place.

The Manitoba Soccer Association said it doesn’t tolerate abuse, assault or violence against referees at any of its games.

“This is a very unfortunate incident, one that we don’t want to see in our sport and has no place in any sport at any level,” said Héctor Vergara, MSA executive director. “Due to the fact that this incident is under investigation by both the police authorities and the MSA discipline committee, the MSA will limit its comments at this time.”

An off-duty police officer held the suspect until a patrol unit arrived to make an arrest. The player is now facing charges.

The referee was taken to hospital for treatment of a concussion.

“The MSA and Manitoba Soccer Referees Association (MSRA) are supporting the referee who is recovering from the injuries by attending to whatever needs he may have in overcoming the incident,” Vergara added.