NEWS

Vaudreuil's FC Trois-Lacs soccer coach beaten up by opponents

08/02/2015 01:54 EDT | Updated 08/02/2016 05:59 EDT
A soccer coach who was attacked and robbed by members of the opposing team after a heated match says the incident has made him question whether he's safe on the field.

Luis Arias said the incident happened on Thursday evening following a his Vaudreuil team's 2-1 victory over a Dollard-des-Omeaux team.

Arias, the coach of the FC Trois-Lacs team from Vaudreuil, and assistant coach Jean-Paul Aubé said the game had been particularly rough. Players and coaches on both sides had shouted loudly and launched verbal insults, and Arias and Aubé said two of the DDO players were ejected from the game for being violent.

Arias was also red-carded during the match.

"The game was over, I was passing by through the stands. There was one guy from their team who was ejected from the game who came from behind and started saying, 'I'm going to kill you, I'm going to kill you,'" Arias said.

He said he didn't reply to their provocation.

"I received one punch. I tried to avoid it, we came down to the ground and a second after, there was four or five guys hitting me on the ground, kicking me," Arias said.

One mother of a Vaudreuil player said she witnessed the whole event.

"When I saw the opposing team players running towards where this was happening, right next to me beside the stands, I thought they were coming to pull their player off our coach. I was wrong! Four other players joined him in beating our coach," said Sherry Dupuis.

Arias said he was left with a few broken ribs and a concussion.

Assistant coach Aubé said he saw several of DDO's players and one of its coaches kicking Arias.

The youths also stole Arias's phone, wallet and keys, Aubé said.

"I'd heard that there have been some problems in that division before. It comes from the coaches. The coaches need to control their players and to be civil and to understand that they're playing with a lot of feelings and emotions," Aubé said. 

The DDO team could not be reached for comment.

Rise in violence?

Geneviève Beauséjour, president of FC Trois-Lacs, said she can't comment on this particular case, but that it speaks to recent trends.

"It's very worrisome because we've noticed a rise in the violence and the gravity of the incidents. They get worse and worse as time goes on. We can't really explain why, but it's unacceptable," she said.

She said new zero-tolerance policies for violence are in place and that punishments will be made more severe.

"But it doesn't seem to be a big enough deterrent," Beauséjour said.

She said the violence has filtered down from older players to the younger ones, as well as to coaches and referees.

Arias, for his part, said that in many years of coaching soccer in the Montreal area and in his home country of Colombia, that he has never encountered such violence.

"It's soccer. It's not a fight — it's just a game and should remain a game," Arias said.

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