Cape Town - Police in the United States have released footage of a brutal on-field assault in a university rugby game.
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According to the Wales Online website, a video shows an Arizona State University rugby player kicking a University of Arizona player in the face during a game back in February of this year.
In the footage, Christopher Crawford walks up to Douglas Neary, who was bending over tying his boot lace, and delivers a kick to the side of his face.
Neary suffered concussion and required facial reconstruction surgery. A metal plate and six screws were inserted in his face.
ABC 15 Arizona reported that Crawford, 21, was charged with aggravated assault three days after the rugby match.
He initially refused a request to come to the police headquarters in Tempe, Arizona, allegedly telling police he “was not going to come in and (police) were not going to find him”.
Three days later Crawford surrendered saying he “was not sorry, and was acting in self-defence”, the TV station reported.
He alleges that he was punched by the victim earlier in the match. Police reviewed video of the game and said they observed a shove, but no punch by Neary.
Three referees told police the kick was “the worst thing they have ever seen in their history with rugby”.
Crawford wasn’t a student at Arizona State at the time of the incident and it’s unclear why he was allowed to play for the rugby club team at the school.
Crawford, who says he is not guilty, faces a trial on Monday, December 11.
Shortly after the incident, the University of Arizona released a statement which read:
“We are saddened by the unfortunate events which left one of our rugby players injured at the hands of a competitor. Our goal is to provide a competitive environment focused on good sportsmanship. This incident is an egregious exception. Our thoughts now are with our student and his full recovery.”
A spokesperson for Arizona State University said the entire club rugby coaching staff was fired as a result.
USA Rugby also temporarily suspended the club.