Footballer puts ref in hospitalBy Hugh Fort
July 05, 2012
A row over which team had to wear coloured bibs led to a referee being attacked and hospitalised with a broken nose after a game of six-a-side football.
The referee, a 27-year-old man from Bracknell, was chased and repeatedly kicked by a player after the game on Monday night.
The incident happened at the Pitch Invasion six-a-side league tournament at Easthampstead Park School in Ringmead, Great Hollands.
Eyewitness Chris Mitchell, 23, told the Bracknell Forest Standard there had either been a colour clash of the teams’ kits or with the referee’s kit.
Under the rules, one team must wear a coloured bib so the players can tell who is on the other team and to ensure one team is not wearing the same colour kit as the ref.
However, when they were told they had to wear bibs, one member of the team grew increasingly frustrated and began arguing with the ref.
The abuse continued to the point where the official decided to send the man off and showed him a red card, before the game even started.
The match continued with the man’s team having to play with fewer players as a result of the sending-off. But after the game, the man chased the referee around the pitch before attacking him.
The man was eventually bundled into a car by a team mate and taken away.
Police confirmed the ref suffered a broken nose and had to have X-rays at hospital to see whether any serious damage had been done.
Chris said: “The ref gives up his time to do that for 30 odd quid and he gets a load of abuse for it.
“He was right to send him off and then the guy goes and attacks him afterwards.
“It was nasty, he’s got to have at a least a broken nose.
“All this was over whether he had to wear a bib or not, it’s just so pathetic and ridiculous.”
A spokesman for Pitch Invasion, which runs the league on Monday nights, said on Tuesday: “Pitch Invasion can confirm we are investigating a serious incident at one of our events last night.
“We are undertaking a thorough investigation and are gathering statements from our employees and customers to establish the full facts.
“We will be sharing these with the FA and police in due course.
“In the meantime we can confirm a team who were alleged to be involved have been suspended from the competition pending the investigation.
“We would ask anyone who witnessed the event to contact police.”
Thames Valley Police said a 23-year-old man from Middlesex has been arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.
Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
UPDATE: Police have confirmed a second man aged 26, also from Middlesex, has been arrested on suspicion of causing Grievous Bodily Harm.
He has been bailed and will return to Bracknell Police Station on Thursday, August 2.