July 8, 2014 9:35 am
Updated: July 8, 2014 10:15 am

Winnipeg soccer player banned for 15 years for referee assault

A Winnipeg soccer referee was knocked unconscious by a player at this pitch on May 29.


WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Soccer Association has banned a Winnipeg man from playing soccer for 15 years after he assaulted an official.

The soccer association wouldn’t comment on the suspension or confirm which incident sparked it, but it’s believed to be for a violent incident on May 29, when the Winnipeg Croatia player allegedly beat a referee unconscious during a game at the Vince Leah Recreation Centre on Salter Street.

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A witness said the 29-year-old player was arguing against a yellow warning card he was given by the referee, and the ref reached for another card that would kick the player out of the game.

“As the ref was reaching in his pocket, [the player] threw a punch to his lower jaw. The ref was knocked out cold. He then delivered two more kicks,” witness Xxavier Barra, who plays for the opposing Galatasary United team, said at the time.

READ MORE: Winnipeg police arrest soccer player for assault on referee

Police charged the player with assault causing bodily harm, the said in June, but wouldn’t name him.

The suspension, which lasts until May 29, 2029, means he can’t:

  • register with any Canadian or Manitoba soccer association-registered club or association,
  • play in any CSA- or MSA-sanctioned leagues, exhibition games, practices or tournaments,
  • act as a board member, executive or official with any CSA- or MSA-registered clubs or associations,
  • communicate with any CSA- or MSA-registered players or club officials in a mentoring, coaching or advising capacity during any sanctioned game or team practice,
  • be within 50 metres of a CSA- MSA-registered clubs bench in outdoor competitions, or leave the spectator area at indoor competitions, or
  • officiate at any CSA- or MSA-sanctioned games or competitions.

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