‘Absolutely unacceptable’: Man arrested over horrific referee attack in Sydney

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A 25-year-old man has been arrested over a horrific attack on a Sydney referee that was captured on camera, according to news.com.au.

NSW Police have confirmed they are continuing to investigate an incident on Friday night, where a referee was allegedly assaulted at a Bankstown District Premier League match between the Greenacre Eagles and Padstow Hornets.

Khodr Yaghi, a referee of 24 years, was acting as a linesman when the Eagles took on the Padstow Hornets in south-west Sydney. The match finished at about 10.30pm and Greenacre lost 5-1.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), Mr Yaghi said the alleged attacker was a player who was attending as a spectator because he had been suspended for an unrelated incident.

Mr Yaghi suffered a broken jaw and had four teeth knocked out as a result of the attack. He is being treated after being taken to Liverpool Hospital in south west Sydney.

The attack was captured on film. Picture: news.com.au.

The Greenacre Eagles condemned the violence and withdrew the team – its top men’s team – from the competition for the rest of the season.

The incident renewed questions over clubs’ ability to deal with spectator violence and intensified concerns about disrespect putting people off becoming referees.

NSW Minister for Sport, Steve Kamper MP, said the incident was “absolutely unacceptable.”

“All referees and all players should feel safe wherever they’re participating in local sport,” Mr Kamper said.

Nick Kambounias, the chairman of Football Canterbury, told the SMH violent incidents involving suspended players were rare.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald and news.com.au.

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