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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 July, 2004, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
Referee shoots coach
By Mohammed Allie
BBC Sport, South Africa

Referee Petros Mathebela
South African referees have been making headlines recently

A South African referee is alleged to have shot dead a football coach and injured two players during a friendly amateur match in the Eastern Cape coastal town of Kenton on Sea.

The incident followed an argument over a yellow card and a disputed penalty.

According to police, the referee allegedly to have pulled out his 9mm pistol after being involved in an argument with the coach of local side Marcelle.

The team were playing Ekuphumuleni in one of the regular friendly matches which takes place over weekends between teams from nearby townships.

Police inspector Mali Govender said a fight broke out when the referee yellow-carded a Marcelle player after awarding a penalty against them.

The Marcelle coach then stormed onto the field and was involved in an argument with the referee, who pulled out his gun and shot the coach through the chest.

The bullet went straight through his chest and wounded two players in the hand.

The coach died at the scene and the players were treated at the field by paramedics.

After the incident, the referee scaled the wall of the ground and fled the scene but police say they are confident of making an arrest soon.

Officials say they are investigating a charge of murder and two cases of attempted murder.

A few years ago, a similar incident happened during a friendly match in the Limpopo province when a referee shot a player who questioned his decision.

The murder comes at a time when the authorities are seeking to tighten gun control laws as firearms - both licensed and unlicensed - have been responsible for a large percentage of unnatural deaths in a crime-plagued society.

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