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Soccer referee with passion for game wins scholarship in honor of ref killed by player

John Bieniewicz died after being punched by player

DETROIT – A student and soccer referee with a passion for the sport won a scholarship in honor of a referee who died after being punched by a player in 2014.

John Bieniewicz was refereeing a game at Mies Park in Livonia. He was trying to issue a red card to player Bassel Saad for being verbally abusive when Saad knocked him unconscious. Bieniewicz died two days later

Emily Garza was awarded the John Bieniewicz Memorial Scholarship this year.

Learn more about Garza and the threat referees face in the video above.


About the Authors:

Amber Ainsworth

Amber is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit and graduated from the University of Michigan-Dearborn with a Journalism and Screen Studies degree. She is a writer and photographer who covers music and local beer, when she's not covering news. Amber is also a member of the Michigan National Guard.