Thu, Sep


ELIZABETH London, wife of referee Michael London, who was badly beaten while officiating a match in La Brea, last Thursday, said she would like her husband to continue refereeing in spite of the incident.

Her husband was scheduled to have a CT scan at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (Mt Hope) last night.

Speaking with Newsday yesterday, Elizabeth thanked God and the off-duty officer, who intervened in the attack, for saving London’s life. The officer, who shielded London, fired his gun in the air to stop the attack.

“That is what caused them to scatter,” Elizabeth said as she sat at the side of her husband at the San Fernando General Hospital (SFGH) yesterday evening, while he was about to be transferred by ambulance to Mt Hope to have the CT scan. She said Michael was in a lot of pain and was barely able to speak because of the injuries to his jaw.

She said at first she thought her husband was shot because his nephew, Devon London, who is also a referee was at the game and called her, “He panicked and called me, telling me that Michael was in a fight and he heard a gun shot and to come down to La Brea now, because he could not reach him.”

Elizabeth said as parents of young children, she could not understand the indiscipline of the players and their ingratitude, pointing out that London, 43, bended the rules earlier, delaying the start of the game to accommodate the arrival of some members of the same team who attacked him because of his decision to award a penalty.

Elizabeth called for security on the field during these community games.

She said it is not the first time her husband, who has been a professional referee for about eight years, was attacked. However, she said it is the first time the attack was so savage.

She said in these critical times, security is a must, but players and referees have been left at the mercy of unruly mobs because of the cost factor attached.

London, 43, and his wife Elizabeth, of Fyzabad, are parents of calypsonian brothers Ronaldo and Rivaldo London.

“He gave a penalty and they vex and somebody push him, he push him back, then another person came and hit him and when he hit back, fight start. The team and supporters pounced on him and beat him up,” she explained.

She said doctors have assured there are no broken bones and the injuries would heal, but in time.

Asked if this incident would cause him to rethink his decision to referee, she said it is not a conversation they have had since the incident played out during a community match between Gonzales United and Young Stars in the La Brea Football League.

“I would like him to continue because he is passionate about football. It is something he loves, but it is not safe. I know for sure he will not be going back to La Brea, but apart from that he would have to decide.”

She had also raised concerns about the league continuing in spite of the attack on her husband and last evening maintained it should have been called off pending the outcome of an investigation.