Football

$160,000 raised by Detroit City fans for Referee killed by a player

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The supporters group of Detroit City FC have clamoured together to show their support and remorse over the death of a Detroit area referee after he was killed by a player.

John Bieniewicz was refereeing a local football match in Livonia on June 29th, Bieniewicz of Westland made the decision to award Baseel Abdul Amir Saad a red card during the contest and the enraged player responded by punching him in the neck.

Reports after the local league game have concluded that the 44-year old had passed away from the resulting injuries caused by Saad on July 1. 

Bieniwicz was not only a referee who conducted his duties at the professional level but also contributed all the way down to children's league football, he even was the president of the Metro Detroit Soccer Officials Organisation.

The official showed incredible passion towards the sport and would often referee up to three games of football on any given Sunday.

The 36-year-old Saad was initially charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm after the punching incident, but after the news of the subsequent passing of Bieniewicz, his charge has been upgraded to second degree murder.

The shocking news of the official's death really hit hard in the Detroit area, the community pride themselves on their adoration for the game of football and the damning incident sprung the supporters of Detroit City FC into action.

Gene Butcher the president of the Northern guard spoke of his desire to aid the family of Mr.Bieniwicz in whatever way he could, they initiated a concept of a previous charitable work to help the family.

Butcher explained: ""We were all terribly saddened by the news of the death of local referee John Bieniewicz because of a senseless act of violence during a rec match. Several members of the Northern Guard began to discuss ways in which we could raise money for his family."

He continued: "We came up with the "Swear Jar" concept last year to help raise money for our Hooligans for Heroes charity and it was quite successful so we decided that we would employ this tactic again."

"The concept is simple, if you wanted to swear during that match you had to pay the swear fee. The prices ranged depending on the word and there was a unlimited swear option as well. Mostly it's just in good fun and people stuffed the collection buckets."

After all the initial donations and strong help from the community, the memorial fund now stands at an incredible $167,438 from 2320 donors.

If you would like to help out in any way possible, you can go to the donations page here.

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