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American Soccer Ref Dies After Being Punched During A Match

July 3, 2014 by staff 

American Soccer Ref Dies After Being Punched During A Match, Referee killed in amateur soccer match.
An amateur soccer referee who was punched in the head while refereeing an adult-league soccer match on Sunday has died.

John Bieniewicz was refereeing an amateur match at a park in the Detroit suburbs when he was punched in the head by a player he’d attempted to eject from the match. Following the blow, Bieniewicz was left unconscious and not breathing on the field. He was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital in critical condition. He passed away on Tuesday.

The 44-year-old Bieniewicz was a licensed referee who worked as a dialysis technician at Mott Children’s Hospital and lived with his wife and two sons in the Detroit suburb of Westland.

Bieniewicz, a 6-foot-5 high school athlete who lettered in basketball and football, gravitated towards soccer in his adult life and had spent two decades earning a reputation as a reliable and fair referee.

On a website dedicated to his memory, Bieniewicz was described as “a man who lived life to the fullest.”

“He had a passion for his family, a passion for the kids at Mott Children’s Hospital, and a passion for soccer. John died doing what he loved: Officiating a soccer game.”

Local police have charged the player who punched Bieniewicz, 36-year-old Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad of Dearborn, Michigan, with assault and intent to do great bodily harm.

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