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New video ‘changes narrative’ around accused ref basher


A man who allegedly assaulted a referee at a suburban soccer game has been released on bail with strict conditions after a new video surfaced that “changes the narrative”.

Adam Abdallah, 25, received widespread condemnation after a video which appeared to show him violently assaulting match official Khodr Yaghi in Sydney’s southwest went viral in late April.

WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Video of Sydney soccer referee reframes his alleged assault.

Abdallah had been in custody since May 1, but on Wednesday he was granted bail in the NSW Supreme Court.

The prosecution said it did not oppose his release because a new video of the incident had come to light since Abdallah was initially refused bail.

“It somewhat changes the narrative from the shortened clip the media had,” a lawyer representing the Director of Public Prosecutions said.

The extended video appears to show Yaghi throwing the first punch at an on-rushing Abdallah before hitting the ground and being set upon by the younger man.

The original video circulated online only panned to the affray after Yaghi was already on the deck.

Adam Abdallah has been released on bail after new footage was released, showing him running towards the ref, who appears to throw the first punch. Credit: 7NEWS
In the footage that went viral on social media, referee Khodr Yaghi was already on the ground, but new evidence now shows his fist raised. Credit: 7NEWS

The bail conditions require Abdallah to remain in his house at all times, unless accompanied by his mother or his wife, who is six months pregnant.

Justice Mark Ierace said the conditions effectively confine the amateur boxer to “house arrest”.

As Abdallah has no prior criminal convictions, other than one traffic matter, Justice Ierace said the “alleged behaviour would appear to be quite out of character”.

Yaghi, 45, had reconstructive surgery in a Sydney hospital after the alleged incident left his jaw broken in three places and three of his teeth knocked out.

Abdallah was a suspended player for Greenacre Eagles, which withdrew from the rest of the men’s premier league winter season and promised to help the local association impose appropriate sanctions.

As Abdallah has no prior criminal convictions, and the behaviour appeared ‘out of character’, he was released on bail. Credit: 7NEWS
Yaghi needed reconstructive surgery after the alleged attack left his jaw broken in three places. Credit: AAP/7NEWS

NSW Sports Minister Steve Kamper, a past president of Sydney Olympic Football Club, said he had sought assurances from governing body Football NSW that the strongest possible action would be taken over the alleged attack on Yaghi.

“This is one of the worst attacks I’ve ever seen at any sporting event at any level,” he told AAP days after the incident.

“This was a disgusting and cowardly attack. It goes without saying that this kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable.”

Abdallah next faces court on June 28.

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Source: 7News