A Russian referee is under investigation by his league and by local police after an altercation with an 11-year-old player during a game near Chelyabinsk.
The boy was sent to the penalty box. On his way, he allegedly made some ‘unsportsmanlike’ remarks to the officials. The 62-year-old referee skated to the penalty box, grabbed the boy by the mask, pulled him forward, then shoved him back. The boy reportedly lost consciousness momentarily, also suffering a cut lip.
Outraged parents called for an apology from the official, but the game went on.
Anatoly Kopylov, a representative from Hockey Chelyabinski called the incident “overblown.”
“As far as I understood, the hockey player, who was sent to a penalty box, directed profanities towards the referee,” Kopylov told Vesti.ru. “The [official] couldn’t restrain himself and grabbed the boy’s mask before pushing him.”
He also advised that there have never been any complaints about the referee in question.
“He is 62 years old. He played for himself for so many years and worked as a coach. The boy’s father himself knows him. For me, this is a shock.”
The officials and coaches have been called for a hearing with the regional ice hockey federation to discuss the incident.
The police and local prosecutor’s office are also reportedly investigating.