Players reportedly attack, chase ref

ROSS ROMANIUK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:42 AM ET

A bizarre melee broke out at a high school soccer match in the West End last night when a referee was chased around the pitch by frustrated players.

With Churchill High School's team leading Gordon Bell High School 2-1 toward the end of the playoff semifinal, the game at Tec Voc High School's field ended abruptly when players on the losing squad became angry at penalty calls and allegedly attacked the lone teenage referee.

Police in several cars rushed to the field shortly before 6 p.m. when they were called after the referee ran from virtually the entire Gordon Bell team, witnesses said.

A female Churchill teacher was elbowed in the face by a Gordon Bell player while trying to stop the fracas.

Churchill players alleged they were threatened with violence and even death by members of Gordon Bell.

"As soon as the game ended, the craziness ensued," Graham Blicq, a player for Churchill, said as officers took statements from the official.

Diogo Costa, a referee for an adjacent match on the Wall Street field, said some players appeared to have unspecified "weapons" -- one possibly carrying a pool ball -- as they pursued the official, who was struck a few times and ran to seek protection behind spectators in the bleachers.

'WE GOT FED UP'

Witnesses said the Gordon Bell squad, upset at a number of players being disqualified for rough play, pushed and struck the referee.

A Gordon Bell player confirmed his team became physical after getting fed up.

"We were getting red cards, red cards after red cards," said the player, who refused to give his name. "And so everyone attacked the ref. We got fed up with it. The ref wasn't being fair to us."

Several people described the sight of the referee running for safety.

"One of the boys from the Gordon Bell team attacked the ref. And then they started chasing the ref all over the field -- the whole Gordon Bell team," a mother of a Churchill player said.

Police Insp. Bruce Foster said parents got involved to protect the referee. No one was seriously injured, Foster said, adding unspecified charges are pending.

Several Churchill players, whose team won by default, were frightened.

"They were threatening my life so I'm not giving my name out," said one.

"It's a beautiful game," said Churchill supporter Andy Blicq. "But that was just ugly."

Churchill faces either Sisler or Kelvin in today's final.


Videos

Photos