An adult spectator is likely to face an indefinite ban from attending youth football matches after he assaulted a young referee during a match between two teenage clubs in Quebec.
The event took place during a match on May 7 between Celtix du Haut-Richelieu and Saint-Laurent, two men’s teams in the U-14 category, in Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, a city southwest of Montreal .
“I am really shocked by such violence. … It’s really disturbing as an image, it’s the complete opposite of what we want to advocate as a message”, Mathieu Chamberland, general manager of Soccer Quebec who oversees the league, told the French-language tabloid The Journal of Montreal.
“There is no reason, really no reason to justify attacking an official, it’s zero tolerance.”
The attack was filmed and shared on social media. The video showed an individual screaming as he approached a 17-year-old assistant referee, who was seen pushing the man as he got too close. The man responded with a punch to the teenager’s face.
A spectator intervened by tackling the aggressor and pinning him to the ground. The match was then stopped.
The man was reportedly frustrated by a successful equalizer – a goal that ties the scores of two teams – but it was the assistant referee’s offside call that led to the man launching the attack.according to Le Journal de Montreal.
The assailant has since been identified as the grandfather of one of the players, according to authorities at the Saint-Laurent Soccer Club, who met May 9 to craft a response to the incident.
“We are going to summon the person fairly quickly before the disciplinary committee, but for the moment, he is suspended indefinitely from attending all games until a decision is made,” said Guy Hébert, vice-president of the club communications. .
The 17-year-old didn’t sustain any significant injuries from the hit, although he was shaken by the incident, according to Saint-Laurent director of referees Robert D’Alesio.
“He’s going to take a break and then he can decide whether he wants to continue or not,” D’Alesio told the Journal de Montreal.
“We see that there is more and more a total lack of respect towards the referees, at the level of the parents and the spectators, it is problematic”, he said. “It is a case of extreme violence; in my career, it’s the worst I’ve seen.
Soccer Quebec has indicated that its disciplinary committee is called upon to manage around sixty conflicts involving referees each year.
“What we can see is that there is a minority of incidents that are increasingly violent, which is concerning,” Chamberland said, adding that a thorough review of the incident is needed. to prevent future acts of violence.
“Everyone has the right to a healthy environment and safety. Soccer Quebec condemns this event and we will do everything to ensure that this individual can no longer return to the area around the fields.