ESF - English Schools Foundation

Police to investigate kicking of boy's head

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2012, 12:00am

The father of the 12-year-old boy who was kicked in the head during a youth soccer match has filed a police report, saying it was no accident.

'I'm afraid if this attitude continues, who will be the next boy?' said Philip Poon Hung-wai, whose son, a player for Kitchee-Escola under 12s, was injured in a game against ESF Lions at King George V School last Saturday. The English Schools Foundation said it appeared to be an unfortunate accident.

Poon said he had three reasons for filing the report: to get an explanation from the boy who kicked his son; reserve the right to claim for damages; and send a message that this kind of rough play should not happen again.

His son had a few loose teeth, a bruised jaw and cuts in his mouth, but Poon said the kick could have caused serious damage. 'It could have taken his life, disabled him, broken his neck, or blinded him.'

Poon said he had yet to hear from the other boy or his parents.

After an investigation, the Hong Kong Development League and its organisers the Chelsea Soccer School ruled that both teams were in breach of their code of conduct and failed to play in the spirit of sportsmanship.

The league is set to take disciplinary action against the coaches and spectators (parents who ran onto the pitch), as well as the ESF player for violent conduct, but declined to say what the punishment might be.

The ESF last night said: 'We regret that the [league] chose to release the findings of their investigation to the press before providing it to any of the individuals involved. We are disappointed in the way the investigation was conducted, which gave no opportunity for those who were present to comment. The incident involving an 11-year-old ESF Lions player was an unfortunate and regrettable accident and the surrounding media attention that has been focused on him, much of it offensive and defamatory, is entirely unwarranted.'