A 23-year-old soccer player in Winnipeg is facing charges of assault causing bodily harm after a goalkeeper on an opposing team was seriously injured during a game in July.
The accused was arrested Aug. 11 and will be formally charged at his first appearance in provincial court in October, according to police. He could not be reached for comment but his alleged victim said the incident was a shock.
'I've been upset with people, but I've never even considered charging someone before. This is beyond what a sport is.' —Scott Keast
Scott Keast, who plays goal for the Kildonan Cavaliers, said the other player, a member of the Polonia S.C., was angry when a referee refused to award a penalty kick. The player claimed he was tripped up by Keast, who said he never touched his opponent.
Before he could get up, Keast said the player repeatedly stomped on his head and neck, causing serious bruising and a bone in his neck to break.
Keast said he is used to rough sports and has encountered his fair share of injuries over the years "but I've never had something this vicious.
"I've been upset with people, but I've never even considered charging someone before. This is beyond what a sport is," he said.
Both teams are part of the Manitoba Major Soccer League. The accused was given a yellow card — a warning — for his actions but not a red card, which would have seen him ejected from the game.
No one from the league was immediately available for comment.
Keast has been unable to work his job as a courier since the July 13 game. He has trouble swallowing, speaking and moving.
"It's frustrating not to be able to work, not to be able to walk my dog, not to be able to help around the house. I can't play soccer. I really can't do much of anything," he said.