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Player banned, charged for punching ref

Associated Press Published: May 3, 2012
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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A former Samoan international soccer player who punched a referee and broke his jaw has been banned from the sport indefinitely and charged with assault.

Tama Fasavalu played three matches as a striker for Samoa, scoring twice in a World Cup qualifying match. He is charged with assaulting referee Len Gattsche while playing for his Manukau City club side in a second division match in Auckland last week.

Fasavalu received an indefinite ban from all involvement in soccer when he appeared before an Auckland Football judicial review panel on Thursday.

Gattsche's jaw was broken in three places and he needed a plate to repair the fracture.