Tuesday June 6, 2023 – A South African rugby player was stabbed by a spectator at halftime with the game abandoned after the referee was ‘too traumatised’ to continue.

The incident occurred during a League A match between Never Despair and Porterville over the weekend.

The player was taken to hospital and later discharged, while the attacker was detained by police after being chased by players and the Never Despair chairman.

‘The chairman of Never Despair chased after the culprit, and with the help of players, the person was detained and handed over to SAPS.

‘The vice-chairman of the club, Mr. James Davids, a paramedic, attended to the wounded player until he was taken to hospital by ambulance. The player was discharged from hospital on Sunday.

‘After a discussion between management of the two clubs and match officials, the match was called off because the referees were too traumatised to go ahead.

‘Randall Swarts, the chairman of the visiting club, confirmed to Boland Rugby that his club was satisfied that the host club’s safety procedures were in order, with security visible.

‘The traumatic events, even though isolated, are viewed in a very serious light by the union. The union immediately discussed the incident with the club in order to obtain a detailed report.’

South African Rugby Union President Mark Alexander condemned the latest violence in matches in the nation.

Jeffreys Bay Rugby Club saw their home fixtures suspended after three visiting players from Port Elizabeth Harlequins were stabbed in March. Kowie United were also hit with a ban after a referee was assaulted during their match against Swallows RFC.

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