Footballer admits breaking ref's jaw

AMY MAAS
Last updated 12:46 12/09/2012
Len Gattsche
PHIL DOYLE/Fairfax Media
LEN GATTSCHE: Had his jaw broken on both sides and in three places after red-carding a player during a football match in Auckland.

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A footballer charged with breaking a referee's jaw has pleaded guilty to the crime today.

Tama Fasavalu, 36, admitted a charge of wounding with intent when he appeared in the Manukau District Court before Judge Andree Wiltens today.

He will reappear in court on November 16 for sentencing.

Fasavalu, a former Manukau City player, was charged with assaulting volunteer referee Len Gattsche after being sent off during an Anzac Day clash against Tauranga City.

He broke Gattsche's jaw in three places in the assault which came after he was given two yellow cards, and therefore a red card, for heavy tackles.

Fasavalu - who used to play internationally for Samoa - has been suspended from the club indefinitely.

Gattsche, who has at least 15 years' experience as a referee, is still deciding if he will return to the game.

The Auckland Football judicial review panel banned Fasavalu from the sport and fined his club $1000.

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