Sydney football referees will wear BODYCAMS as New South Wales football clubs fight back against abuse after official was left with a broken jaw in a vicious attack
- Referees in South West Sydney will wear bodycams after an ugly attack
- A 45-year-old referee suffered a broken jaw after an alleged assault
- A local football authority is going to test bodycams for referees at matches
Football clubs across New South Wales will take a stand against refereeing abuse as the sport tries to combat the ugly scenes that unfolded in southwest Sydney last Friday night.
Adam Abdallah, 25, is accused of storming the pitch and confronting referee Khodr Yaghi, 45, at the end of a match at Padstow Park.
The 45-year-old official was left with a broken jaw, missing four teeth and underwent surgery that would require him to place plates in his jawline as a result of the attack allegedly carried out by Mr Abdallah.
A magistrate refused bail for the 25-year-old earlier this week, with police citing concerns that Abdallah would endanger the safety of the victim and the community.
And Football NSW is still reeling from the shocking incident and has now called on clubs to form a united front ahead of this weekend’s games across the state.
Referees in southwest Sydney will wear bodycams after ugly scenes last week
A 45-year-old referee suffered a broken jaw and four broken teeth after an attack
Adam Abdallah, 25, has been denied bail after being charged with committing the attack
In a statement, the governing body said: ‘In line with our zero tolerance policy, Football NSW encourages clubs to participate in a pre-match symbol of solidarity with and respect for referees.
“Within Football NSW competitions, this means a 30-second applause prior to kick-off, with both teams standing around the center circle, along with umpires at the halfway point of intersection.”
The local football authority Bankstown District Amateur Football Association has also introduced new security measures in the wake of the attack, which will take effect on Friday 5 May.
Body cameras will be trialled on men’s Premier League referees, while a new hard line has been issued regarding abuse by players and coaches.
The new rules state that registered team officials and spectators are not allowed to approach an official regarding a decision made during a match.
Violation of this rule will result in the offender being shown a red card and the match will be abandoned. The non-offending team then gets a 3-0 win or the current score if the margin is more than three goals.
Police said of last Friday’s incident there had been ‘little to no provocation’ from the referee, who had asked Mr Abdullah to ‘please leave’ before Mr Abdallah reportedly became aggressive and started ‘to throw punches’ ‘.
Referees from a local football authority will try to wear bodycams (Photo: a referee officiating an A-League game)
However, the court was told that Mr. Yaghi used a sideline flag to defend himself, causing Mr. Abdallah to fall to the ground before his alleged attack began.
Defense attorney Talal Krayem said his client suffered bruises on his head as a result of being hit with the ‘stainless steel’ sideline flag.
Friday’s incident after the Greenacre Eagles and Padstow Hornets game was filmed by shocked bystanders and quickly spread on social media.
Players can be seen mingling at the end of the match before a verbal altercation breaks out over what are believed to be calls from the referee during the match.
A man then runs through the crowd and allegedly attacks Mr. Yaghi, beating him several times. Mr Yaghi was reportedly pushed to the ground as he tried to cover his face to protect himself as onlookers shouted ‘get off him’.