27 Jul 2011

Sport: Referee assault shouldn't hamper American Samoa's IRB hopes

11:36 am on 27 July 2011

The chairman of the Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions, Lefau Harry Schuster, says American Samoa's chances of joining the IRB should not be affected by the assault of a rugby referee at the weekend.

Referee Ponifasio Vasa was punched and kicked while officiating a game between

Avele and Nu'uuli on Saturday local time and, as of Monday local time, was still hospitalised in Pago Pago.

Lefau, who was at the ground, told KHJ News that he was very concerned about the apparent lack of crowd control and security for the officials during the match between Avele and Nu'uuli.

He says he say the crowd of Nu'uuli supporters ran onto the field and did what they wanted.

American Samoa is currently trying to attain IRB membership and a berth in regional Oceania tournaments.

A report on the incident has already been received by the IRB and FORU but Lefau says he will tell the IRB that the local union should not be penalised for the actions of a single club and to let the American Samoa Rugby Union handle Nu'uuli.