Bassel Saad, a US-based footballer has been sentenced to eight years imprisonment for punching a referee to death in a Michigan United Soccer League match.
The 37 year-old knocked referee John Bieniewicz down after the latter showed him a second yellow for committing a foul. John was immediately rushed to a Detroit hospital but passed on two days later.
Bassel pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a minimum of eight years in prison. He was also ordered to pay €8700 for funeral costs.
Thomas Cameron, the judge who delivered verdict said, “For better or for worse, you’ve come to personify all that’s wrong with many people’s belief about the escalation of violence in sports.”
The referee’s wife held up a red card as Bassel was led away. “I would like to serve Mr Saad with the red card that he was entitled to.” She added.