No case for soccer boy over kick to head

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 17 April, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 April, 2012, 12:00am


Police will not prosecute a 10-year-old boy arrested on suspicion of kicking a 12-year-old in the head during a soccer match last month.

The incident, which angered parents and the coaches of both the teams involved, was filmed by a spectator and uploaded to the YouTube website, where it was seen by thousands of people before being removed.

The boy's parents have been informed of the decision. The family of the victim will meet Justice Department representatives tomorrow to discuss the case.

'After seeking legal advice, the arrested person has been unconditionally released,' a police spokesman said yesterday. The force would not say what advice it had sought.

The boy was arrested and released on bail last month. He was asked to report to the police yesterday.

The injured boy plays for a Kitchee Escola team. He was kicked in the head during an under-12s Hong Kong Development League match against the English Schools Foundation Lions at King George V School in Ho Man Tin.

Philip Poon Hung-wai, the father of the injured boy, said the outcome was not a surprise. 'I feel a little bit disappointed, though I had never wanted police to prosecute the boy. There must be a reason why the police released the boy unconditionally,' he said.

Poon fears the incident will send a message to children that violence will be tolerated. But since his son has fully recovered, he is not prepared to pursue the case further on his own.

He hopes to meet the parents of the 10-year-old boy, and even organise a friendly soccer match for the boys, in the hope of reconciliation

Jim Hackett, head coach of ESF's soccer programme, would not comment on the possibility of reconciliation, saying he believed the 10-year old boy had gone through quite an ordeal already.

'The boy did not do anything wrong. I still feel sorry about the boy, as thousands of people looked at the incident on You Tube,' he said.

A spokeswoman for the ESF said it was relieved at the boy's release.