Referee Fires Gun During Soccer Game After Fight Breaks Out Over Red Card

A soccer referee in Oklahoma has been arrested after allegedly shooting a gun in the direction of a player and several fans following an argument over a red card.

The incident allegedly occurred at around 4:00 p.m. last Sunday at the Pauls Valley Sports Complex in Oklahoma after referee Davi Bazeth gave a player a red card during an adult match, which meant the latter was ejected from the rest of the game.

Pauls Valley Assistant Police Chief Derrick Jolley told local station KFOR that after the red card was shown to one of the players, "the incident started to escalate, got kind of heated, [I] believe there was some pushing and shoving."

He said that following the scuffle on the pitch, Bazeth walked over to his car and returned seconds later carrying a gun in his hand. A video filmed of the incident by one of the spectators purported to show one person shouting "Hey! Hey! Hey!" before the referee allegedly fired the weapon.

The police report of the incident shared with the local outlet said that the player issued the red card by Bazeth saw the referee "work the action of the gun, point the gun in the direction of him and the other spectators and players near the playing field, and fire one round from the pistol."

Although no one was injured in the incident, Jolley said: "It could've been a very bad situation. You have families there, you have not only the adult spectators and players, but you have children in the area."

"It's a miracle no one was hurt," added Jolley.

The police said that Bazeth then got back into his car and drove away. He was pulled over and arrested by officers shortly after as a .380 caliber pistol was confiscated from his truck, said police.

Bazeth, who is set to be arraigned on Friday morning, is now facing complaints for feloniously pointing a firearm. Court documents reportedly state that this is his first criminal offense.

Sunday's incident is not the first time a gun has been fired during a soccer match after a red card was issued, as a referee was fatally shot during a game in Argentina in 2016 by the player he ejected from the field.

After the player was sent off during an amateur game in Campo de la Ribera, central Argentina, in 2016, he took a gun from his backpack and shot the referee in the head, neck and chest, with the victim dying from the injuries suffered in the incident.

Meanwhile, in 2018, Greece suspended its Superleague football fixtures after the owner of the club PAOK Salonika was filmed with what appeared to be a handgun strapped to his waist as he entered the pitch to protest about a disallowed goal.

Newsweek has contacted the authorities in Pauls Valley for comment.

Referee fires gun after red card disagreement
File photo of a hand holding a red card up in front of a blurred crowd. A soccer referee in Oklahoma has been arrested after allegedly shooting a gun in the direction of a player and several fans following an argument over a red card shown. pxel66/iStock / Getty Images Plus