Referee dies after being punched at soccer match

An undated photo provided by the Livonia Police Department is of Baseel Abdul-Amir Saad. Saad, a Detroit-area soccer player who police say critically injured a referee by punching him during a match Sunday June 29, 2014. The referee, John Bieniewicz, died from his injuries Tuesday at a Detroit hospital.

DETROIT, Michigan — A Detroit-area man who was punched while refereeing an adult-league soccer match on Sunday has died.

Detroit Receiving Hospital spokesman Alton Gunn and friend and attorney Jim Acho confirm that John Bieniewicz died Tuesday morning, according to the Associated Press.

Police in the Detroit suburb of Livonia said Bieniewicz was punched after indicating he would eject a player from the game. A 36-year-old Dearborn man, Bassel Abdul-Amir Saad, was charged in the attack.

Acho says a fund is being set up to help pay for his friend’s funeral and burial expenses as well as his children’s futures.

According to Acho, Bieniewicz was a dialysis technician at a children’s hospital who lived in Westland with his wife and two sons. Bieniewicz was a soccer referee for two decades.