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Soccer Referee Dies From Punch To The Head

Another case of on-field stupidity and unsportsmanlike behavior has taken place last weekend in Michigan, as a soccer referee has just died from the injury he received during the match he was coaching.

As 44-year-old John Bienewicz was reaching for his red card to book Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad, Saad punched him in the throat in protest of his imminent ejection from the game.

Police said Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad punched Bieniewicz after he indicated that the 36-year-old Dearborn resident was going to be ejected. Livonia police and the Wayne County prosecutor's office have not named the referee, whom Acho identified as Bieniewicz.

One witness told MyFoxDetroit.com that Bieniewicz was punched near his throat and fell without raising his arms. The death was confirmed by the hospital and a family friend.

Saad was arraigned Monday in Livonia District Court on a charge of assault with intent to do great bodily harm. Bond was set at $500,000, and a probable-cause hearing was set for July 10. It is unclear if Saad will face new charges.

Bieniewicz was a dialysis technician with a wife and two sons, said attorney Jim Acho, who was a childhood friend. Acho says a fund is being set up to help pay for his friend's funeral and burial expenses, as well as his children's futures.

While soccer, like all sports, does not promote or support any sort of violence, there are some overzealous and disturbed, sore-losing fanatics that cannot control their emotions on the pitch.


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