A man has apologized anonymously for his role in a violent altercation against a teenage referee at a soccer game in the West Island of Montreal.
The incident, which was captured on video, shows an adult coming down from the stands and appearing to assault the official before other spectators intervene.
In a letter published by Soccer Quebec, the man writes that he attended his grandson’s U14 game last weekend in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.
The man – who does not give his name – said he “initiated a verbal and then physical altercation with a young linesman”.
Teenage referee allegedly assaulted by adult at youth soccer game in Montreal
“I behaved in an unacceptable manner and I take responsibility for it,” the letter read. “Rest assured that I deeply regret this.
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“As a former teacher, I am particularly aware that this is a very bad example for 14-year-olds.”
The altercation only ended when other onlookers intervened, tackled the man and arrested him. The incident sent shockwaves through the sporting community, among football teams and associations.
The Minister of Junior Sports of Quebec even weighed on social networks. Isabelle Charest called the incident “unacceptable”.
Earlier this week, Soccer Lac St-Louis said the teenage referee is doing well and recovering from the experience.
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The man wrote that he is aware that his gesture “cannot be erased”, but that he wants to apologize “first and foremost” to the referee and his family.
He also apologized to both teams, match officials and fellow spectators.
“I also started a process to get help, because my gesture was unjustifiable and did not represent who I am or what I want to be,” he wrote.
— with files from Gloria Henriquez of Global News
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