|Video shows members of a Montreal junior football team jumping into the stands behind their bench and punching and kicking several fans in Hamilton. (Hamilton Cable 14/YouTube.com)
MONTREAL –- The head coach of a Montreal junior football team whose members pummelled fans at a weekend game in Hamilton, Ont., has resigned, the team announced Thursday while offering an apology for the fisticuffs.
The St. Leonard Cougars made international headlines this week after amateur video showed the young men beating up fans at the end of a semifinal game at Ivor Wynne Stadium.
Players said fans had pelted them with beer, water and water bottles all game long but the team says that’s no excuse to fly off the handle.
“The Cougars organization would like to apologize for the poor behaviour of its junior team,” the team said in a statement on its website.
“The organization accepted the resignation of head Coach Jeffrey Rached on Wednesday.”
Footage on the video website YouTube shows about 20 Cougars players jumping into the stands behind their bench and punching and kicking several fans. One fan suffered a concussion when a player struck him with a milk crate.
At another point, several players held down and fan and punched and kicked him repeatedly. The video also shows a fan in a red sweater taking a sucker punch to the side of the face and crumpling to the ground.
Hamilton police told QMI Agency that the file remains open but that criminal charges cannot be laid until an alleged victim comes forward.
Junior football features players who are between 18 and 22 years old.