The referee who was punched by a player on the pitch has complained how the police have still not taken his statement — a fortnight after the incident took place.
Satyam Toki was officiating a grassroots game in London when he was left with excessive bleeding above his left eye after an alleged assault by a player he had just sent off.
The 28-year-old is determined to press charges even though he claims his attacker — a teacher — has been privately messaging him to offer him money to cover his time off work.
But Toki says the Metropolitan Police are yet to act, telling Sportsmail: ‘I have contacted the police on three occasions since the incident, most recently on Friday. Each time they say someone will be in touch with me to take my statement, but there has been no contact back from them yet.
‘This is the only thing I can do and they are not doing anything about it. I feel disappointed and helpless. I have no option left. I don’t know why it is taking so long. Someone else will see this and think, “Oh, that player didn’t get any punishment.” In a different situation you might have someone killing a referee, bringing a knife.’
Since footage of the attack went viral earlier this month, Toki has received support from other referees in the game, including Sportsmail columnist Mark Clattenburg, who called for the player to be criminally charged.
Martin Cassidy, chief executive of charity Ref Support UK, said: ‘I believe the way the police are acting they are complicit, just like the FA, in not protecting referees enough. We’re trying our best to react and force them to do something now.’
Sportsmail contacted the Met on Monday to ask why there had been a delay following the incident on August 9 and in a statement they said: ‘The victim subsequently contacted police on August 21 and confirmed he wished police to pursue the matter — an investigation is ongoing.’
Toki said he called 101 to lodge his initial complaint but when he phoned again a week later after receiving no contact, ‘they had no record’ of his call. Other times, he was kept on hold in a queue.
The player, who will remain unnamed, did not respond to Sportsmail’s request for comment.
But Toki, a train conductor and father of an infant daughter, claims: ‘He was texting me apologising for what he has done and he said he’d lost his mind, he has never done such a thing.
‘I sent a message and said, “I’m really shocked at what you did and I’ve taken time off work”, so he’s been trying to push me money.
‘He said, “I will pay you the time that you want to take off work. I will come to your home and do any service you like, any kind of work, clean your car, clean your garden, whatever you like”.
‘If I tell him, “Yes, pay me for my time off”, he will ask me later on not to press charges. He’s been sending me messages saying, “If you proceed with this case, my career will be ruined. I will lose my job. No one will give me a job”.
‘So you can try to understand from his messages that he has been trying to pay me money so I can cool down and leave this case aside — but I will take action.’
Sportsmail has been shown screenshots of the texts Toki said he was sent by the player, who was playing for Sporting Club de Mundial, a Hackney Sunday League side formed by football magazine Mundial.
Toki, who is paid only £40 a match, said he is still having ‘a little bit of pain’ and is unsure whether he will referee again.