COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) – Club officials are investigating after a youth soccer coach was ejected from a Broward County game when he gave instructions to players in Spanish.
Coach Ruben Albarracin says he felt discriminated when a referee forced him out of the Dec. 8 game.
Cooper City league chief arbitrator Peggy Arner Rose, the referee’s mother, has been pointed to as the person who told referees not to allow Spanish. Her husband, Scott Arner, refuted the accusation. “It’s unfortunate; the whole situation is unfortunate and hopefully, the truth will come out,” he said.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports the players on Albarracin’s team are mostly immigrants or the children of immigrants from Latin America.
Officials with the Optimist Club, which oversees the league, say the board asked coaches during a recent meeting to “speak in a language that everyone understands.” They cited an incident last year when a coach speaking in Hebrew told players to break the legs of a rival team during a game.
Officials say league rules do not prohibit speaking in a foreign language during games.
Nadine Natour contributed to this report.