By Sulayman Bah
A wrestler is in hot water after unleashing a vicious blow on the face of a referee over the weekend.
Banjul-based wrestler ‘France’, considered one of the arena’s biggest upcoming stars, risked the irk of the Gambia Wrestling Association when he launched what appeared to be a right-hander close range punch on the officiating arbiter.
The incident occurred at the Serrekunda West mini-stadium before hundreds of supporters on a night of Sunday in what was the last undercard fight prior to start of the occasion’s big combat.
In a contest that lasted nearly twenty-minutes, France appeared to have been floored by opponent Sanneh in the final third. Prior to this, France had appealed to the referee claiming victory over Sanneh on basis of ‘quart-appeal’ which he believes the arbiter overlooked.
So when the arbiter declared Sanneh winner after a heated clash, France, in fit of anger descended on the referee scolding him by the neck before letting fly a right-hander close range smash on the referee’s face.
The referee also appeared to have responded with a blow on France’s face prompting a furious uproar as police let loose on the wrestler with batons before frog-marching him out of the arena.
The incident provoked a near free-for-all fight between fans and Police Intervention Unit personnel who quickly sought reinforcement to take control of the situation as angry crowd battered the hired arena lights.
The melee was soon sorted however it took long minutes of work to restore the lights back for the final combat between Leket and Balla Star to go ahead.
Wrestler France’s Club Banjul Saku Ham Ham wouldn’t comment on the issue when approached.
The Gambia Wrestling Association disciplinary committee Foroyaa Sport understands would likely investigate the saga. This however is the first time France is being caught up in a web of controversy of this magnitude.