ESF - English Schools Foundation

Head-kick boy's video removed from net

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 March, 2012, 12:00am

A YouTube video of a 12-year-old boy getting kicked in the head by a rival player during a soccer match has been removed from public view after a legal letter from the English Schools Foundation.

The film, which received more than 30,000 views on the YouTube website, attracted inflammatory comments about the 10-year-old ESF Lions player who kicked the boy.

It has now been set to 'private' and can be seen only by the person who posted the video, although other versions of the film, taken on Saturday at an under-12 game between the Lions and Kitchee Escola, could be found on YouTube last night.

'The lawyer's letter [to the person who uploaded the original video] makes clear our concern about the injury to the Kitchee Football Club child and is designed solely to get the video clips closed down because of the distress that the offensive comments were causing,' ESF chief executive Heather Du Quesnay said.

The clip features examples of what are described as rough play by the ESF team, as well as a slow-motion replay of the kick, and challenges the competence of the coaching.

But ESF Educational Services, which runs the sports programme, said that while the incident was 'unfortunate and regrettable', the video did not allow a fair assessment of what happened.

A Development League investigation found both teams in breach of its code of conduct. It said it would discipline ESF players and coaches and warn parents of Kitchee players, some of whom ran on to the pitch to remonstrate, about their conduct.

'I think most of the outcome of the report is fair,' Stephen Lam Tak-sing, operations director of Kitchee Escola, said. The club will seek legal counsel to respond to the ESF letter.

The ESF said it agreed with the league's findings and would co-operate with investigations after the victim's father made a police complaint.