A soccer referee whose jaw was broken in a shocking on-field brawl has pleaded not guilty to assaulting a woman while working as a bouncer in a northern Sydney pub.
Khodr Yaghi, who appeared at Hornsby Local Court on Wednesday sporting a futsal tracksuit, faces charges of assault occasioning bodily harm and reckless grievous bodily harm over the alleged incident at the Railway Hotel in Hornsby on March 3.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Video of Sydney soccer referee reframes his alleged assault.
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The 45-year-old reportedly missed his first court appearance last month as he was undergoing surgery on his jaw, which was broken in three places while officiating a local football game in Sydney’s southwest on April 28.
His alleged assailant, Adam Abdallah, faces charges of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and affray. The 25-year-old amateur boxer was granted bail on May 31 after a new video emerged, which the prosecution said “changed the narrative” of the incident.
Veteran referee Yaghi, who has officiated in Sydney for decades, was overwhelmed with support after the original video went viral.
Football NSW said it had no tolerance for any antisocial behaviour from any of its participants at any time.
Clubs across the state held a guard of honour for referees in the round following the on-field incident in solidarity with Yaghi and to call out abuse towards match officials.
“The language and behaviour targeted towards referees would not be acceptable on the street, or in the workplace, or in the home — yet it still occurs on the football pitch,” Canterbury Football chairman Nick Kambounias said.
“This needs to stop.”
Yaghi remains on bail ahead of his next hearing, set for June 19 at Downing Centre Local Court.
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