Soccer referees come to pay tribute to a fallen brother

Soccer referees come to pay tribute to a fallen brother

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LIVONIA, Mich. (WJBK) - Two by two they walked into the funeral home, marching home toward their fallen brother, a fellow referee who was tragically killed during a recreational adult soccer match.

44-year-old John Bieniewicz, a father of two, died from injuries sustained from a punch in the neck by player who was allegedly angry about being ejected from the game.

36-year-old Baseel Saad was charged with assault with intent to great bodily harm.  The charge was levied before Bieniewicz died and they could be changed to manslaughter.

Fellow referees say dealing with angry players and high strung parents can be dangerous.

Referees across the state of Michigan are looking at new regulations to better protect the refs and the players.

There is a fund set up for the Bieniewicz family at Huntington Bank.  You can drop off your donation at the Livonia Police station.

Play the video to get a full report from Fox 2's Maurielle Lue.
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