Uruguay due to halt football again this weekend after referee vote
Football games in Uruguay are expected to be called off this weekend with referees maintaining their stance to not officiate any games until further notice.
Uruguayan football, including five Primera Division games, were suspended on Sunday after two officials, including a woman, were attacked by players and spectators during an under-19 game between hosts Platense and Basanez the day before in Montevideo.
La Oral Deportiva has reported that following Wednesday's three-hour assembly at the Uruguay Referees' Association (AUDAF), the decision was taken to not return to the pitch until the Uruguay Football Association (AUF) announce a ruling regarding Saturday's ugly incidents.
Out of the 90 members present, 80 voted to keep their stance, with only 10 in favour of lifting the suspension.
Six people have reportedly been arrested, including four Platense players and one player of Basanez. Basanez have since parted company with the player that was involved in the attack and admitted they had done the same thing with three other players several months earlier after they had "hit a club delegate."
Platense, meanwhile, have taken drastic measures and said in a statement: "Considering Saturday's events, Platense has taken the decision to withdraw the U19 team and remove the technical team."
AUF and AUDAF issued a statement earlier this week announcing they will take on "the challenge to apply more active measures to eradicate violence in all competitions."
Uruguayan referee Carlos Roca, who was one of the victims of the attack, told the local media: "It's not an issue of the weekend but rather something that has been going on for some time. It's the straw that broke the camel's back. The damage goes beyond what the courts can rule, it's psychological and personal. The referees are very hurt."
The country's sports assistant secretary Dr. Alfredo Etchandy said the episode was a warning and told Oral Deportiva: "Unfortunately, we are heading towards having games behind closed doors, even at youth level."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.