It’s surely a rare occurrence when a match official attacks a player, but that is exactly what happened.
This bizarre incident occurred during a Russian League reserve game in Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, a protectorate of Russia
The assistant referee (or linesman as they were once called) ran onto the field and proceeded to assault a player. In the process he (the assistant referee) actually kicked the unfortunate player while he (the player) was on the ground.
Musa Kadyrov (the assistant referee) appeared from television footage (below) to be very incensed and carried out this attack.
One can only speculate as to what provoked Mr. Kadyrov to initiate this assault. Suffice to say that it is totally unacceptable for this kind of behaviour from a match official in whatever capacity.
He has since been suspended for life from participation as a match official at any level.
Thankfully these incidents don’t happen very often. Be that as it may, they should never happen at all, at any level, or in any sport.
Match officials have enormous powers granted to them by FIFA through the Laws of the Game. They can caution and dismiss from the field of play any player or manager/coach who is guilty of any breach of the LOTG. For them (match officials) to take the law into their own hands by assaulting a participant is unforgivable.
In some ways, I guess, it’s symptomatic of where our so-called sport is at, and is going to.
The pressures to win are great at any level, and players will go to extraordinary lengths to achieve their goals (excuse the pun).
Why am I saying that?
In this incident there didn’t appear to be anything untoward physically to warrant the assault by the assistant referee. One can only speculate then, that some words were exchanged between the player and the official to provoke this attack.
Nevertheless, this attack, regardless of the provocation is totally unacceptable and in banning Mr Kadyrov for life, the authorities took the correct action.
It is important to send out a clear and unambiguous message to all that such behaviour cannot, and will not be accepted.
My Kadyrov may have had his integrity called into question (and this is just speculation), but regardless of what might, or might not have been said, his actions on that day were way out of order.
No mention was made as to what action the referee took with the player involved or his assistant referee following this incident.
If I were the referee I would have given him (the assistant referee) a “red card” and removed him from the line for the remainder the game.
About the author: Dr Errol Sweeney (PhD) BBA Dip.PM, aka “The Hanging Judge,” is a former L.o.I and SA Premier League Referee, World Cup Referee & Assistant Referee Coach & Mentor. He coached/mentored a referee to 2 World Cups, Olympic Games, Confederations Cup, 2 U/17 FIFA World Cups and 4 African Nations Cups. He also writes on his own blog at SuperSport.