Rugby league referee hospitalised after allegedly being brutally kicked in throat by player

WITHOUT referees, there would be no sport.

But, sometimes that is lost on fans – and even players – as one referee found out whilst officiating in a local rugby league game in Australia.

Brian Roper, 54, was officiating a fixture between Souths Inala Warriors and Dayboro at Acacia Ridge. After awarding a penalty for Dayboro, the referee was allegedly set upon by one angry Warriors player.

The referee then claims to have been brutally kicked in the neck, which hospitalised him. Whilst at hospital – where he spent two nights – Roper was taken for a CT brain scan with injuries to his larynx.

Roper, 54, told News Corp: “I never saw it coming and copped it in the neck. While I was on the ground I saw the feet of the players coming towards me and thought ‘holy s***, they are going to kick me in the head.”

Th Daily Mail has since reported that Queensland Police and the Brisbane Rugby League Referees Association are investigating the incident with a Warriors player suspended whilst enquiries are ongoing.

Roper continued: “It is the only time I have really been frightened doing my job. I don’t care who wins or loses a game — referees can only adjudicate on the rules and what is before us.”

Brisbane Rugby League Referees Association president Alan Reese explained that this was the first incident that has occurred since 2000. “The last time a referee was assaulted on a football field in Brisbane was 23 years ago and the QRL, Rugby League Brisbane and the Referees Association are doing everything in their power to ensure that type of assault never happens again,” Reese said.

“I am aware of the rumours for calls for Souths Inala to be removed from the competition but any decision will be up to the QRL and the RLB. The association is not concerned for its refs and I am not pushing for anything apart from a fair judgment.”