26 Jul 2011

Sport: American Samoa Rugby Union to rule on referee assault case today

11:05 am on 26 July 2011

The American Samoa Rugby Union will today decide on what penalty will be imposed for the assault of a referee during a championship match at the weekend.

Ponifasio Vasa was punched as he was responding to a complaint by the Nuuuli team regarding a call he made during their match against Avele.

Spectators and local rugby union officials who were present said the referee fell and members of the Nuuuli team management and reserves continued to punch and kick him.

At least one Avele player was also kicked and punched while on the ground according to one spectator.

A Rugby Union official says the referee's nose may have been fractured from the assault and he remains under doctor's observations.

Vasa has also been complaining about head pains as he took a lot of punches to his face and head.

Meanwhile, the Samoa Rugby Union referee association has suspended providing referees for the American Samoa rugby union after its member was assaulted.

The manager of rugby union referees in Samoa, Papalii Tulouna, says safety for the referees is a priority and it is the main reason behind a decision to suspend the assistance for the time being.