Sunday, 18 March 2012

Boy, 10, arrested over kick to head in soccer match

Juvenile bailed on suspicion of assault causing actual bodily harm after incident involving rival player, 12

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Guanyu 道 said...

Boy, 10, arrested over kick to head in soccer match

Juvenile bailed on suspicion of assault causing actual bodily harm after incident involving rival player, 12

Dennis Chong
18 March 2012

Police have arrested a 10-year-old boy who allegedly kicked a 12-year-old in the head last weekend during a soccer match, a police spokeswoman confirmed yesterday.

In a rare case of police taking action against a juvenile, the boy was arrested on Friday on suspicion of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, the spokeswoman said.

He was released on bail for an unspecified sum, but will have to report back to police next month.

The spokeswoman added that the name of the suspect needed to be withheld due to the sensitivity of the matter and the boy’s age.

According to a source, police consulted the Department of Justice on how to proceed with the case due to the age of the suspect.

The developments came after the injury to a Kitchee-Escola player sparked a huge controversy.

He was kicked in the head in an under-12 Hong Kong Development League match against the English Schools Foundation Lions at King George V School.

The incident, which had parents and coaches up in arms, was filmed by a spectator who uploaded the footage on the internet.

The video went viral before being pulled from public view after the ESF warned of legal consequences.

But various other versions were still available on YouTube yesterday and had attracted about 200,000 views.

The police spokeswoman said yesterday the case was being investigated by Kowloon City district crime headquarters.

Meanwhile, the league decided at an internal meeting on Tuesday to ban an ESF player allegedly involved in the incident from playing for the rest of the season.

League officials also warned Kitchee it had failed to control its team’s parents and would face expulsion for “future misconduct”, according to an e-mail sent by the league to Kitchee representatives.

The league’s warning triggered uproar at the club and among the Kitchee parents.

Kitchee-Escola operational director Stephen Lam Tak-sing said the club had demanded the league organisers revise the ruling against Kitchee and the parents.

“We know that parents should not enter the pitch, but when you see the situation, any dad would do that,” Lam said. “It’s just like when you see a child badly injured in a traffic incident. Anyone would run onto the road. Why, then, do you say the parents did something wrong?”

But as of yesterday, Lam said, there had been no response.

Dave Stewart, the soccer school’s football programme development manager, said officials would look at the situation tomorrow.

Lam said the parents of the Kitchee U12 Team and the Kitchee-Escola Parents’ Association had written to the league organiser, Chelsea FC Soccer School (Hong Kong), demanding the decision be reversed.

Philip Poon Hung-wai, the father of the injured boy, said he was disappointed by the league’s decision over Kitchee. He said parents might be hesitant to allow their children to play in the competition in the future.

The league officials also decided during Tuesday’s meeting that the referees failed to control the second half of the match and a warning was issued to the ESF coach for going onto the pitch, according to the e-mail sent to Kitchee.