The Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association is appealing a decision by the Manitoba Soccer Association to suspend a student and coach after a fight involving a referee during a soccer game.

Witnesses said a referee was attacked by players and fans from Gordon Bell High School during a game against Churchill High at the Tec Voc field in late May.

After the 19-year-old referee issued several red cards, witnesses said, Gordon Bell players turned on the referee, chasing him into the stands and allegedly assaulting him.

The soccer association's discipline committee suspended a player and a coach from Gordon Bell from soccer activity for five years, said Stew Duncan with the Manitoba Soccer Association.

Gordon Bell's soccer program was put on probation for three years. The school is required to provide security for referees at outdoor games for one year, andit must have two team officials in attendance at each game, Duncan said.

The Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association filed a letter of appeal to the soccer association Wednesday.

"The case has been referred to our appeals committee, and the committee will convene probably within a week and make a decision whether to grant a hearing," Duncan said.