Violence against referees is nothing new in football. The latest incident will shock, but coming so soon after another major incident, it might not surprise anymore.
Roughly a month ago, football world was rocked by the death of a Dutch referee after an attack by teenaged players (via The Guardian). On Wednesday, news broke from Chile of another attack that left a referee and linesman missing teeth.
The Daily Mail has the story of violence during extra time of a regional game between Baquenado and Pablo Lizama. After a controversial call, a fan ran onto the pitch and attacked a linesman.
The referee was then set upon by those from Pablo Lizama after calling a halt to proceedings.
The melee, involving men and women, left the man in the middle barely conscious while his assistant suffered bleeding to the face and a few missing teeth.
Fortunately for the officials, the incident was captured on video. The video has made news around the world, for obvious reasons. It appears above, with scenes that can only be described as shocking.
But, again, while the violence against the officials is and should shock, it isn't necessarily surprising. An incident similar to this—though much worse—happened only last month, and all of us have seen images of angry fans or players accosting referees.
Along those lines, English-language new source I Love Chile quotes former Baquedano coach Jorrit Sminik as saying, “Unfortunately, football has too many players like this. In Holland, an assistant referee was murdered by some young players.
He added: "The surprising thing is that the only people who work at FIFA are mafia types and complete idiots. That works from the top down.”
We've heard Sepp Blatter called several negative things over the years. A sentence with "complete idiots" and "mafia types" might rank among the best.
So, what do you think, readers? Clearly, this sort of thing shouldn't ever happen. But how should football respond? And is the criticism of FIFA warranted?
(h/t 101 Great Goals)