AN amateur footballer arrested following an on-field assault is furious after he was locked up for hours in a police cell before being released without charge. Chartered surveyor Chidi Egbochue, 34, who was playing for Yau Yee League team Oxford at the time, has filed a formal complaint with the Complaints Against Police Office. It is understood to be the first time a footballer from the league has been arrested over an on-field offence. His eight-hour detention at Western police station meant he missed a flight to Thailand where he was going for a short break before starting a new job with Taiwan's High Speed Rail Corporation in Taipei. A former Airport Authority surveyor, Mr Egbochue said his detention was unnecessary because initially referee Tony Mok - who had sent him off for the offence - told the arresting officer the circumstances surrounding the injury to the opposing player did not constitute an assault. The referee missed a flight to Taiwan after police called him to the station to give a statement securing Mr Egbochue's release. The drama unfolded 25 minutes into the match between Oxford and University at Sandy Bay sports ground on October 10. 'The guy marking me was right up against my back and when I tried to manoeuvre for position I hit him in the face with the back my hand,' said Mr Egbochue. 'I'm not complaining about being sent off, I apologised to the opposing team's manager. Everyone at the ground agreed it was an accident.' The opposing player, who has been named only as Mr Chow and could not be contacted for comment, was treated in hospital for an eye injury. After the game, as Mr Egbochue got into a taxi to leave the ground, a motorcycle police officer arrived and told him to get out because a complaint had been made. He was arrested and taken off in a police van. 'I couldn't believe it, I ended up behind bars for playing football. It was a bit of fun for some of the uniformed officers but not for me.' He was eventually released without charge around 7pm the same day. Brian Jones, who was playing for the opposing team and is also secretary of the Yau Yee League said: 'The whole thing was not a serious incident of violence and I'm really sorry the police got involved. It was not appropriate for them to be brought in. 'I still don't know why or when our player decided to report it, he had only played for us a couple of times.' Yesterday, a police spokeswoman said Mr Egbochue was arrested because the injured player said the 'assault' had taken place after the game. 'We eventually got the referee who told us the incident happened on the pitch. The man was released unconditionally,' she said. The Hong Kong Referees' Association said the incident had taken place on the field of play and was a matter for the referee.