Spectator charged after attacking Irish referee

 

The South African rugby fan who attacked an Irish referee during an international match yesterday has been charged with assault and trespassing. He was released on bail.

Referee David McHugh suffered a dislocated shoulder after 43-year-old Pieter van Zyl tackled him to the ground a few minutes into the second half of the match between New Zealand and South Africa. The Kiwis won 30-23.

Van Zyl will appear in court again on September 9th.

"The whole of the stadium was mal (angry) with him (the referee). It's just that I decided to do something about it," van Zyl told the Sunday Times.

He said: "Referees around the world think they are bigger than the game and they're not. Fans like me is what rugby is about."