NORTHVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A 41-year-old man is accused of assaulting a 16-year-old soccer referee during a youth game Saturday in Northville Township.
Police said the alleged assault happened during a match between teams associated with the Waza Football Club and the Canton Celtic Soccer Club.
Multiple witnesses said the man entered the field after the referee called a foul on a player, got into a verbal altercation with the referee, shoved him and threw a cup at him, police said.
The referee wasn't hurt, but the game was ended.
Police said the man was brought into the police department for an interview after a complaint was filed. He was charged with misdemeanor assault. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 93 days in jail.
The man's arraignment is scheduled for June 15.
Statement from Canton Soccer Club manager Dan McEvilly:
"In regards to the assault on the soccer referee, the game in question was between our U11 boys team and a Waza west team.
First of all, I want to make sure everyone is aware that the referee was not harmed and that charges were filed against the parent who committed the "alleged" assault (I guess until the person is found guilty I need to call it alleged). Secondly, I want everyone to also be aware that the parent involved was from Waza and NOT from Canton.
We have spoke with the DOC (Dir. of Coaching) from Waza, Mario Scicluna, and he has told me that they are banning this parent from all further games. We have a very good relationship with Waza and I was very happy to hear that they are taking a very strong stand on the matter.
Our coach, Drew Crawford, commented on how apologetic both the Waza coach and the players were after the game was abandoned. Referees are fallible and they will make mistakes. Yes, we all hope that those mistakes will not cost us games, but even if that is the case it is still not acceptable to abuse referees verbally, and certainly NOT physically. Will you hear coaches show their dislike for certain calls? Of course you will, but good coaches will say their peace and then let the game continue.
Please help us all "respect the game" by keeping your cool on the sidelines!"