Thursday, July 10, 2008

Drunk ref helped off field

MINSK, Belarus -- Referee Sergei Shmolik was helped off the field with back pain while officiating a Belarus league match, but later was shown to be drunk.

In TV footage shown Wednesday on Russian television, Shmolik staggered as he was helped off the field at the end of Saturday's match.

The Belarusian sports Web site Presball reported that the crowd in Vitebsk stadium, where the local team was hosting Naftan, was amused with the referee's strange behavior through the second half.

Shmolik was hardly moving by the end of the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, officiating from the central circle by the end of the game.

Presball said Shmolik got help after the match but later was taken to the hospital for a test, which showed high levels of alcohol in his system.

The Belarus football federation said Shmolik's case will be subject to a disciplinary committee.

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