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New Zealand youth soccer game abandoned after coach allegedly threatened to kill volunteer ref

Cameron Smith
Prep Rally

A youth soccer match in New Zealand was stopped in full flight after the coach of a team threatened to kill a referee after one of his team's goals was disallowed.

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New Zealand volunteer youth soccer referee David Adams — The Dominion Post

New Zealand volunteer youth soccer referee David Adams — The Dominion Post

As covered in detail by reporter Blair Ensor of New Zealand's Dominion Post, a game in Wellington between teams of 11th-graders was abandoned after one coach threatened to kill the game's volunteer referee if his squad lost the match. The coach in question is a New Zealander named Jan Chmielewski, whose Island Bay United squad had seen a goal by his team disallowed with roughly five minutes to play in the game.

According to volunteer referee David Adams, Chmielewski launched into a profanity-laced tirade against him, leading the referee to red card the coach and demand he leave the field. That's when Chmielewski made the threat that forced Adams to end the game prematurely, as Adams — whose 10-year-old son was so frightened by Chmielewski that he ran from the field -- recounted to the Dominion Post.

"He was swearing at the time and getting really agitated and I said, `Look I need you to leave the field.'

"He continued to swear and said, 'This is our home field — I'm not leaving.'

"He was about two inches away from my face and said into my ear ... `If we lose this match I'm going to f...ing kill you."'

After Adams called the game, he allegedly walked over to Chmielewski and shook his hand to try and diffuse tension from the situation. The coach used that handshake as part of a strong denial that the incident happened at all.

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Youth soccer coach Jan Chmielewski, who allegedly threatened to kill a referee — The Dominion Post

Youth soccer coach Jan Chmielewski, who allegedly threatened to kill a referee — The Dominion Post

"The whole thing is a farce and it's been blown way out of proportion. I never abused him once," Chmielewski, who claimed to be "Mr. PC that day," told the Dominion Post. "I never threatened to kill him at all. It is a lie. I strongly deny this. This is humiliating for me and never happened."

While the coach has professed his innocence, parents from the opposing team — Waterside Karori -- insist that the threat was made, the tirade was frightening and that Chmielewski poses a real threat to the children he presides over.

"I was shocked," Karori parent Rachel McMaster, who originally reported the incident, told the Dominion Post. "Having that kind of guy around kids is scary."

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