Racial slurs, assault reported at girls' soccer game


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico youth soccer league is investigating allegations that parents yelled racial slurs at Hispanic girl soccer players and an adult parent physically assaulted one of the girls during a game that turned violent.

The Duke City Soccer League said Tuesday it's looking into reports that a white man choked and groped a 14-year-old Hispanic female player after a match Saturday in Bernalillo, N.M., that spectators say was filled with racial tensions.

Ana Garcia, coach of Alameda 99, a largely Latina under 19 team, said the melee began after her players experienced racial taunting during an intense 3-3 game with Rio Galaxy – one of the city's elite soccer clubs in the Albuquerque area.

"All throughout the game, the parents were calling the players things like 'dirty Mexicans,' and other stuff I can't even repeat," Garcia said.

After an Alameda 99 player pushed a Rio Galaxy player and two Rio Galaxy players jumped the Alameda 99 girl, a melee broke out, she said. Video of the fight submitted to the league for review shows two Rio Galaxy girls attacking the Alameda 99 player before a parent is seen running onto the field.

It is illegal in New Mexico for parents to run onto the field during a youth sports event, said Luis Robles, a lawyer who heads Duke City Soccer League disciplinary department.

During the confusion as referees and parents tried to separate the girls, a parent from the opposing team Rio Galaxy ran onto the field, grabbed an Alameda player and choked her after the players' brawl broke out, Garcia said.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," Garcia said.

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