Man allegedly assaults teen ref during game

Posted at 11:35 AM, May 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-23 19:48:07-04

A West Bloomfield man is facing assault charges after a heated moment during a youth soccer match this weekend.

Mario Scicluna said the 41-year-old man is a parent of a player on his U11 soccer team from Waza FC, which was playing the Canton Celtic Soccer Club at the Northville Christian Assembly Church on Saturday.

Scicluna said two players were involved in a tackle about 10 minutes into the match when the 16-year-old referee called a series of fouls. That's when, Scicluna said, one of the players' fathers entered the field and argued with the young referee before reportedly shoving him.

"To have an adult enter into that and have a dispute over a call that was made on the field and then become physically aggressive to that child is concerning to everyone," Northville Township Police Lt. Paul Tennies said.
Scicluna, executive director of Waza FC, said parents of his players know the rules - no adult, including coaches, are allowed on the field during the match.

"The family felt very bad and wanted to reach out directly to the referee and apologize to the referee and do anything they can to make it right," Scicluna said Monday.

The father was arrested for misdemeanor assault and was released on a $500 cash bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on June 15 in 35th District Court.

In the meantime, Scicluna said he has been asked not to attend any matches until the matter is settled.

"We just want to take this and turn this into a positive incident so that we can be proactive, so that parents can behave themselves on the sidelines, and the kids can have fun and play," Scicluna said.

He also said that he is trying to arrange a meeting between the father and the young referee, and that he will be meeting with all of his teams to make sure a similar incident doesn't happen in the future.