A young footballer’s father allegedly attacked the coach with a mineral water bottle


A youth soccer coach in Northern Virginia is recovering from injuries sustained over the weekend when a parent hit him with a mineral water bottle.

During a boys’ team brawl in Manassas, Va., on Saturday, coach Vince Villanueva was replacing a friend when he was approached by the parents of one of the players on his team.

“I saw one of the players with his father, and he looked upset, and I said, ‘Are you ready to come back?'” The father said, “No, he’s not well. Can I talk to you?” And I said, “Sure.” Villanueva told NBC4 in Washington.

He briefly turned his attention to the field, and the next thing he knew, Villanueva was dazed and fell to the ground.

Several thousand young soccer players gather in stadiums like this one in Hammonton, New Jersey, every weekend.

While other parents were calling 911 and off-duty first responders were heading to Villanueva, the man accused of attacking him ran away. Eventually, Prince William County police arrested Blerand Hoxha, 45, and charged him with intentional injury.

The TV station reported that Villanueva — who works in the county’s school system and coaches the girls’ and youth soccer teams at Potomac Senior High School — was diagnosed with a fracture of his orbital wall.

He said the accident made him reconsider whether he wanted to continue training.

“Seeing the escalation of violence towards coaches and game officials and things like that within these sports, I keep thinking about this, is this something I want to keep doing?” he said.

This article originally appeared in the USA TODAY: The Virginia youth soccer coach was allegedly hit with a mineral water bottle

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