Soccer ref’s message to attacker
The Sydney referee who was hospitalised after he was attacked during a local soccer game says there needs to be more protection for referees.
Last Sunday, southwest Sydney man Khodr Yaghi was knocked to the ground and punched multiple times while overseeing a local soccer match at Padstow oval between the Greenacre Eagles and the Padstow Hornets.
The 45-year-old was rushed to Liverpool Hospital after the attack, which left him with a broken jaw and four missing teeth.
Amateur boxer, Adam Abdullah, 25, believed to be a suspended player who went to watch the game, has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and affray.
Speaking to 9 News in his first media interview since the alleged attack, he said he has no ill will for the man behind the alleged assault.
“Honestly, I’ve got nothing against him. I just want to move on,” he said.
However, Mr Yaghi pleaded for the football community to enact tougher rules to protect referees.
“If I knew from day one I’m going to be victim to change that game, I will always put my hand up and take it,” the father-of-four said.
“Do it for me but change it for good.”
Starting from this weekend, referees from the Bankstown District Amateur Football Association (BDAFA) will trial wearing body-cams in the men’s premier league.
After the incident, the Greenacre Eagles have withdrawn from the remaining games in the men’s premier league this season.
In a statement shared by the BDAFA said they have commenced an investigation into the matter and said they were “fully co-operating with the Police”.
“Bankstown Football adopts a zero-tolerance policy to any form of violence at sanctioned events,” they said in a statement.
“Bankstown Football is committed to promoting a safe and enjoyable environment for all engaging with football, where the rights, dignity, and worth of every person are properly respected.”