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Apr 9, 2002

Football league fines rioters

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It was one of the ugliest sights in the history of Belizean sports. Video shot after the football match on Sunday between the Kulture Yabra football club and Fabro’s Juventus Stars showed images of the game’s head referee getting hit twice and a police officer wrestling with a player for his baton. After a closed meeting on Monday night, officials of the Belize Premier Football League today released their list of penalties for the offenders. The B.P.F.L. has suspended Yabra’s sub-goal keeper, Anthony Bernard, seen here in his yellow uniform fighting with the officer for the baton, from football for a year and charged him a thousand dollar fine. Yabra’s coach Marvin Ottley, seen on the right side of the screen in a white shirt and jeans, will not be able to attend the team’s next two games and must pay a five hundred dollars fine. As for Andrew “Papa” Brown, sponsor of the Kulture Yabra team, seen here in the middle of the screen in a white shirt, he has been ordered to pay a thousand dollars and, like Ottley, will not be allowed to attend his team’s next two games. The video shows Brown as the first man to strike referee David Jones. The only civilian singled out for punishment is this guy in a yellow basketball jersey, who clearly punches Jones in the face. In the league’s press release, he’s identified as Rene Flowers, and described as an overzealous fan. Flowers has been banned from attending all B.P.F.L., CONCACAF and F.F.B. events for a year. While these penalties might strike some observers as lenient, The B.P.F.L.’s action may not be the end of the matter. Referee David Jones has told News 5 that he plans to seek criminal charges against his assailants…and the police have no shortage of evidence.

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