Amateur footballers jailed for attacking player from rival Sheffield team after 'tense' match

Two amateur footballers have been put behind bars for leaving a member of a rival Sheffield Sunday league team with a broken jaw and puncture wound to the head, when they attacked him after a 'tense game'.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 11th April 2018, 9:21 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th April 2018, 9:26 pm
Lufudu and Hassan Zadeh were jailed during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today

At the end of a 'tense match' between Sharrow Vale and Brunsmeer at the Warminster Road ground in March last year, between 20 and 22 players from both teams began squaring up to each other, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

But after the referee and a number of other officials intervened in the altercation, players from both teams went their separate ways and the incident appeared to have been resolved.

A player from Brunsmeer, who won 2-1, was by himself outside the changing room when Sharrow Vale player, John Lufudu, attacked him, Susan Evans, prosecuting, told the court.

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She added: "The defendant punched the complainant in the face. The punch broke the complainant's jaw, for which he had to have an operation to insert metal plates and screws."

Shortly after the punch from Lufudu, aged 23, the man was helped up by his team mates and began making his way towards the changing room.

It was at this point that the second defendant, Mahdi Hassan Zadeh, another Sharrow Vale player, struck him over the head with a football pump spike, which left him with a puncture wound to the head that had to be glued.

In a statement read out in court, the 22-year-old victim said: "I was put on to a liquid diet for six weeks, I couldn't eat, I couldn't go to the gym. As a result of the injury I missed eight games, one of which was the final at Bramall Lane. I lost the opportunity to play on a professional pitch.That was taken away from me."

When interviewed by police, both defendants denied involvement but they were later picked out in identity parades by a number of witnesses, including the referee.

The referee told police how the atmosphere between Sharrow Vale and Brunsmeer appeared 'tense' during the match, which was the second time the two teams had played each other that week.

Both defendants admitted their offences, Lufudu to one count of grievous bodily harm and Hassan Zadeh, aged 26, to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, at an earlier hearing.

Defending both Lufudu and Hassan Zadeh, Paul O'Shea, said: "This incident was wholly out of character for both of these young men, for very different reasons."

Mr O'Shea said that both men's lives had already been impacted by the consequences of their actions.

He said Lufudu, of St Lawrence Street, Tinsley had been suspended from playing football by the Football Association, while Hassan Zadeh, of Ashbourne Road, Staffordshire had given up football altogether and had even moved himself out of the area.

But Judge Robert Moore rejected Mr O'Shea's assertion that their prison sentences could be suspended, and sent both men immediately to prison.

He jailed Lufudu for 23-and-a-half months and Hassan Zadeh for 13-and-a-half months.