Australian referee attacked by angry supporters

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The Independent Football

An Australian referee feared he might be killed during an attack by a mob of supporters whose team lost an amateur soccer match in Adelaide earlier this month.

Petros Katsiokalis suffered a facial fracture, a cut forehead and severe bleeding after being set upon by a mob of seven or eight supporters of BESA FC, a club with affiliations to the city's Albanian community, on May 13.

"The last thing I remembered before blacking out was someone about to stomp on my head - when I came to I was covered in blood - I couldn't see anything for the blood in my eyes," the 48-year-old told the Southern Mail newspaper.

"Nothing as bad as this has ever happened before."

BESA were formed after a previous club, the Black Eagles Soccer Club, were banned in 2008 after an opponent was kicked unconscious in a brawl, the paper said.

The club, which has been suspended from the amateur league pending an inquiry, condemned the attack on the referee and moved to disassociate itself from the actions of the supporters.

"We are asking everyone to go straight to the league if they have any information because this is damaging to the players, the club and the Albanian community," BESA FC secretary and player George Precaj told the paper.

"It was a cowardly act and we don't need that in sport or society."

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