NATOMAS (CBS13) — Two players involved in an altercation with a referee have been suspended for 99 games by a youth soccer league.
A Natomas Youth Soccer League team was expelled, and the league says the coach has also been removed.
Adrian Castillo says he’s also seeking legal representation after his removal, saying he was voted out by the league without his knowledge.
But his biggest fight is trying to clear his name after an altercation two weeks ago.
“Looks like they just kicked us off the cliff here and best of luck, pretty much,” said Mayra Flores, the mom and manager of the Natomas team named AC Milan.
Flores is beyond shocked her son’s soccer team has been dismantled. She was on the field, two weeks ago at Natomas High School, when an argument started. She says the center referee handed a red card to a player on her team and called him a derogatory word.
“That referee never gave me a game card at the end of the game,” Flores said.
“My players approached the ref, ‘Why are you doing this? Don’t handle my player like this’,” said Adrian Castillo, Former Coach of AC Milan.
Castillo says he saw the referee grab the player by the arm. He says four of the player’s teammates rushed up to his defense, but according to the league, that’s when the referee was pushed.
Castillo’s team has been expelled from the league, two of the 18 players are now suspended for 99 games.
“We only play eight weeks out of the year that’s a fall season, that’s 16 weeks times 99 games, that’s more than six years you’re talking about here,” Castillo added.
It’s a punishment that doesn’t fit the crime according to Flores, who says her son is banking on his soccer career to take him through school.
“He’s hoping to go to Stanford or to Berkeley to get into law school, and he’s looking for a scholarship and hopes with soccer he can do that.”
Flores and other parents believe the team is being punished for someone else’s actions. A penalty they say is too harsh, they hope the NYSL will reconsider.
“Please, let’s get these kids free,” Castillo said.
The NYSL has given parents the option to enroll their children with another team in the league or get a full refund for the fall season. The center referee is no longer part of the league.