The Sydney referee who was hospitalised after he was attacked during a local soccer game says there needs to be more protection for referees.
Last Sunday, southwest Sydney man Khodr Yaghi was knocked to the ground and punched multiple times while overseeing a local soccer match at Padstow oval between the Greenacre Eagles and the Padstow Hornets.
The 45-year-old was rushed to Liverpool Hospital after the attack, which left him with a broken jaw and four missing teeth.
Khodr Yaghi suffered a broken jaw and lost four teeth as a result of the attack. Picture: Supplied
Amateur boxer, Adam Abdullah, 25, believed to be a suspended player who went to watch the game, has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and affray.
Speaking to 9 News in his first media interview since the alleged attack, he said he has no ill will for the man behind the alleged assault.
“Honestly, I’ve got nothing against him. I just want to move on,” he said.
Mr Yaghi said more needed to be done to protect referees in NSW. Picture: 9 News
However, Mr Yaghi pleaded for the football community to enact tougher rules to protect referees.
“If I knew from day one I’m going to be victim to change that game, I will always put my hand up and take it,” the father-of-four said.
“Do it for me but change it for good.”
Starting from this weekend, referees from the Bankstown District Amateur Football Association (BDAFA) will trial wearing body-cams in the men’s premier league.
After the incident, the Greenacre Eagles have withdrawn from the remaining games in the men’s premier league this season.
The soccer referee said he has ‘nothing against’ his alleged attacker. Picture: Supplied
In a statement shared by the BDAFA said they have commenced an investigation into the matter and said they were “fully co-operating with the Police”.
“Bankstown Football adopts a zero-tolerance policy to any form of violence at sanctioned events,” they said in a statement.
“Bankstown Football is committed to promoting a safe and enjoyable environment for all engaging with football, where the rights, dignity, and worth of every person are properly respected.”
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