Thu, Sep

Injured football referee Michael London resting at home over the weekend.

London to undergo CT scans

Despite being treated and discharged after the violent attack by a La Brea mob last Thursday, national football referee Michael London returned to the San Fernando General Hospital yesterday to undergo a series of tests.

London's wife Elizabeth said that they were awaiting an examination by doctors to assess his recovery, adding that he was still in a lot of pain. London is expected to consult with a neurosurgeon at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) today to determine what corrective measures are needed during his recovery.

Following Thursday's brawl during the La Brea Off-Season Football League (LBOSFL), London, the brother of calypsonian Brian London, was left with a fractured jaw, swollen head, bruised ribs and shoulder.

"Right now I can't give an update on his condition because we are at the hospital. The doctors are doing some checks and we are just waiting for them to tell us what they have come up with. We've an appointment at Mount Hope for his fractured jaw and a CT scan has to be done so they can make a diagnosis," Elizabeth said.

On Thursday, London, a member of the National Football Referees' Association (TTRFA), was officiating a knock-out match between Gonzales United and Young Stars at the Brighton Recreation Ground at Point D'Or, La Brea. It was during the second half as Gonzales United was leading 1-0, London awarded them a penalty. He also issued a red card to a Young Stars player.

The league reported that several Young Stars players surrounded London and this resulted in a scuffle. London managed to escape to his vehicle with the intention of reporting the incident to La Brea police. However, it was alleged that one of the Young Stars players pulled him from his vehicles and that was when it's alleged that London pulled out a cutlass. Immediately, players and supporters of Young Stars swarmed London, kicking, cuffing and beating him with bottles, coolers and stones. The battering only stopped when a plain-clothed police officer fired a gunshot in the air, causing the crowd to disperse.

London was taken to the San Fernando hospital where he was treated and transferred to the EWMSC because of head injuries. He was discharged on Friday. The TTRFA then made a call for the Football Association to ban national referees from participation in the LBOSFL. It also advised its members to participate only in TTFA sanctioned competitions. The LBOSFL subsequently banned Young Stars from the competition and apologised to London and the TTRFA.

However, Elizabeth said that they were yet to receive that apology and had only heard about it on the TV and radio On Sunday, London reported the beating to La Brea police. Elizabeth said she doesn't know whether London would return to refereeing because of the hurt he suffered.

She said for the past eight years, he refereed because he wanted to be involved in the development of sports and youths. She said the league was not paying a substantial fee, but London wanted to help out. Last Thursday, London could have disqualified Young Stars which had turned out for the game short of players. But in the interest of the game, she said London delayed the start so that the players could arrive and play.

"He put himself out there for these youth and they nearly killed him. If it wasn’t for the police officer who pulled the gun, my husband would have been dead," Elizabeth said.


Beaten referee cries for justice.
T&T Newsday Reports.

REFEREE Michael London is calling for justice after being allegedly attacked by players and fans during a match between Gonzales United and Young Stars in the La Brea Football League, on Thursday night. The melee occurred after London awarded a penalty to Gonzales United which was not well received by Young Stars players and fans.

London was admitted to the San Fernando General Hospital after receiving injuries to his face and ribs, before being moved to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mount Hope. London was released from hospital on Friday and is now at home.

In a tearful and emotional interview on TV6 yesterday, London, his face heavily bandaged, said he is hoping his attackers will be punished.

“I just want justice, because when you think about it, refereeing don’t pay you in TT, it’s because you love the sport (you do it) and you want to see a betterment in our community,” London said.

London said he felt betrayed by Young Stars, as he delayed the start of the match to facilitate them as they did not have the full complement of players at the scheduled kick-off time.

London said he was grateful for the assistance of an off duty police officer for coming to his rescue.

“It was kick after kick in my ribs, behind my head...I just want to say thanks to the off duty police officer who try to come to my rescue, nobody else (try to help) everybody was just laughing.”

Elizabeth Phillip-London, wife of Michael, said she is hurt that the league has continued after this incident, saying it is disrespectful to her husband and what he went through.