Two Quebec midget league hockey coaches and three players from Saguenay have been suspended following a violent weekend brawl on the ice.
The suspensions were handed down by the Quebec Ice Hockey Federation this morning following an emergency meeting. The league's disciplinary committee will now decide how long the suspensions will last and what other sanctions to impose on the players and coaches.
The league's executive director, Sylvain Lalonde, said all forms of violence on the ice are banned.
"It's zero tolerance," he said.
Video obtained by the CBC's French-language service shows a fight involving several players in the final seconds of a Saturday night game between the Chicoutimi Cougars and the Jonquière Pumas.
A referee trying to break up the fight was knocked down and players are shown striking him while he was down.
With players fighting near the Jonquière bench, coach André Harvey throws a punch that appears to strike a 16-year-old Chicoutimi player in the head.
The boy's father, Jean Côté, said he was shocked by the incident. He said his son has suffered nine concussions in the past, which is why he was playing in a no-contact league. He added that the boy has been the victim of bullying since the start of the season.
Côté said he may seek criminal charges against the coach.
"If you aren't capable of restraining yourself under situations like that, you shouldn't have anything to do with young people," he said.
So far, police are not involved.