Police in West Vancouver were called to Ambleside Park after reports that a Sunday afternoon soccer match turned violent.
Const. Jeff Palmer said a 45-year-old North Vancouver woman was punched after a dispute between parents over the outcome of the Under 21s game.
When police arrived at the park, they found a group of parents gathered around a car, apparently trying to stop the suspect from leaving.
“Near the end of the game, the ball rolled into a sideline area, and apparently one of the players felt an opposing team parent was holding the ball in an attempt to run the clock,” said Palmer.
“A verbal dispute began that escalated. A number of people gathered around, parents [were] arguing with each other… And somewhere in the course of that, a punch was thrown.”
Palmer said he can’t think of a strong reason why a recreational sports match should ever end in violence.
“Of all the very important things we’ve got to concern ourselves with in the world, we’d really like to believe that recreational sporting events can be conducted safely and in a sportsmanlike way without people putting hands on each other,” he said.
Palmer said officers took multiple statements from witnesses who were present.
A 42-year-old man was arrested, and police have recommended an assault charge against him.
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