Teenage referee loses spleen after on-field beating by cop

The assault took place during a match between two teams from the Valencia second division

Héctor Giner Tarazona, a 17-year-old referee, has had to have his spleen removed after being attacked by a player during a soccer match on Sunday in the Valencia municipality of Burjassot. The aggressor, a riot policeman attached to the public safety unit of the National Police Force, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault.

“He’s feeling a bit better; he is able to sit up,” said Héctor’s father José Giner on Tuesday. “Although he has lost all of his interest in refereeing. He doesn’t want to talk about what happened.”

The assault took place during a match between Los Silos CF and Mislata UF B, two teams from the Valencia regional second division, the seventh tier of Spanish soccer. Giner blew for a foul against Mislata and the 27-year-old policeman, identified as A. A. M., began insulting the referee, who produced a red card.

A. A. M. then punched Giner to the floor and kicked him several times, rupturing his spleen, according to the police report. “Our players tried to protect him,” said Vicente Contreras, president of Los Silos. “But the right side of his ribcage was already black and blue.”

A. A. M. was arrested later that day and the police confirmed that an agent from the public safety unit was in custody. “He has been arraigned by the court and we have opened disciplinary proceedings,” said police sources. A. A. M. was bailed on Monday to appear in court at a later date. He was also immediately expelled from Mislata UF B.

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