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Question Number: 27642

Character, Attitude and Control 8/5/2013

RE: Amateur Adult

Hector Rojas of Aurora, Colorado United States of America asks...

Hi, I was referee at a local league, the game was a bit heated because both teams were fouling each other. I talked to the teams at half time about it and urged them to play without hitting each other. They agreed to this. 10 minutes into the second half a player slide tackled the opponent from behind, I gave him a second yellow and red card. As he was walking off the field a defender from the opposing team began to curse and swear at the sent off player and pushed him. I showed him a yellow card and it too was his second so I gave him a red card. He came up to me and punched me in the face. I immediately called the end of the game went to my cell and called the police. Unfortunately this was a new player and was not registered at the league. His team did not want to cooperate with his name or personal information and left the field. Can I still press charges?

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Hector
There are two distinct matters here. One is the civil matter which is a matter for the police. It is up to the police to decide what action should be taken based on their investigation of the matter. I would expect that for assault charges would be pressed.
As regards the local league this matter must be reported immediately and the League informed immediately of this very serious incident. You should also inform your assignor including bringing it to the attention of the referee association in your area.
While the club may not want to co-operate at the field it will be obliged to do so by the League or face very serious sanction. The club will also be expected to co-operate fully with the police investigation.
I hope you get over this totally unacceptable experience and best wishes for the future.

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Answer provided by Referee Jason Wright

Hi Hector,

Sorry to hear what happened to you. I've had players get a little physical against me several times, but nothing to that extent. Hope you weren't seriously injured.

The simplest advice here is 'let the authorities sort it out'.

As to whether or not you can press charges via the criminal system - the police are the ones who will advise on that, but consider that many people will report assaults without knowing the identity of their attacker - you at least have a description and witnesses. Allow the police to worry about his identity.

I'd advise the same with the league - the fact that the club refused to cooperate will, no doubt, work against them when it comes to the judiciary. Allow the league to go through their process to seek out his identification - what happens after you submit the report isn't worth worrying about.

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