Crime

Florida Christian High Players and Fans Beat Up a Soccer Ref in Miami

Update 2: Numerous Florida Christian supporters wrote New Times to tell their side of the story. They say the ref started the brawl by punching a Florida Christian player after the game.

Update: Miami-Dade Police confirmed they are also investigating the allegations, but declined to release a police report on the case because Internal Affairs is involved. A high school source tells New Times the ref in the case is also employed as a police officer. We'll update this story when more information is available. Were you at the game and saw what happened? Let us know

Last Thursday, the Marathon High School boys' soccer team traveled up U.S. 1 to play at Florida Christian in Southwest Miami-Dade. It was a close game, with the refs dishing out maybe ten yellow cards throughout the testy contest. By the end of the game, though, Marathon held onto a 2-1 victory.

That's when the real action began. First, a Florida Christian fan ran onto the field and bumped a ref. Then the players joined.

"The whole Florida Christian team swarmed the ref and started throwing punches at him,” Jim Murphy, Marathon's coach, later told the Key West Citizen. "About three Florida Christian fans and the whole Florida Christian team began pummeling him. I couldn't see the ref for a second." 

What had been a fairly routine high-school soccer match morphed into something surreal. "I've never seen anything like it," the coach added. 

Murphy ordered his players onto their bus; he told the Citizen he considered heading into the scrum to try to break it up but thought that responsibility lay with the other referees. 

Corey Sobers, a spokesperson for the Florida High School Athletic Association, tells New Times that the association is aware of the incident and is actively investigating, but he declined to elaborate on what kind of punishment could be in store for the Florida Christian team. 

"We don't have all the information," he says. "Obviously, contacting an official is a serious offense." 

Florida Christian's athletic director did not return calls from New Times
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Trevor Bach