GTA Football Community Mourns Referee Killed In On-Pitch Argument
Toronto’s close-knit football community is mourning the shocking death of a longtime referee who was shot while trying to defuse a fight between opposing players inside an indoor sports complex in North York.
Edwin Farley Alvarado Quintero, 49, of Woodbridge, is remembered as someone who gave his all to the sport and as a loving father, according to friends on Facebook.
A recent article by Edwin Bohórquez Marquez highlighted Alvarado’s contributions to sport in his native Colombia, describing him in Spanish as « a great human being who dedicated his life to his personal and sporting growth, as well as to his daughters. and many other athletes ».
Alvarado was one of three men shot dead around 7:20 p.m. on October 9 inside the La Liga sports complex near Finch Avenue West and Alness Street, just west of Dufferin Street.
According to Fernando Ramirez, co-owner of the La Liga sports complex, the shots broke out after players from opposing teams started jostling each other. According to Ramirez, the shooter was a spectator who tried to shoot one of the players. Alvarado found himself caught in the middle of the chaos and was not the intended target, he said.
In a statement online, former Toronto FC star and Scarborough native Dwayne De Rosario said: “Violence like this has no place in our sport in any capacity because it It’s hard enough for the amount of abuse referees have to deal with for plays that have little to no real significance and to my knowledge Mr. Edwin was not being targeted but was trying to defuse the situation.
The former Canadian national team forward added: “This is terrible and extremely sad news for all of Ontario and Canadian soccer. #supportthereferees”
Futsal Canada, an organizing body for the futsal variant of indoor soccer, said: “No one should ever have to go to a game and face violence in any way. We absolutely condemn in the strongest possible terms this deplorable and cowardly act.
The organization added: « Gun violence in Toronto has hit a new low. »
Police say two other men over the age of 20 were also shot dead and taken to hospital, one of them with life-threatening injuries.
Although Ramirez said he only met Alvarado recently, he said the league he was in had been playing La Liga for around five years without any problems.
“We’ve been open for over seven years and we’ve never had anything like this. We welcome families and there were a lot of kids at the game,” Ramirez said.
A press release from the La Liga board read: “Our organization has always been committed to sportsmanship, solidarity and healthy competition. For the leaders of La Liga, its employees and all those who work and visit our sports complex, it has been a fatal experience. It is important to emphasize that we absolutely reject any act of violence and that what happened does not represent our values or those of our community.
Ramirez said the center is planning a charity game in Alvarado’s honor to help with funeral costs.
“We are planning to organize a football fundraiser for the victim’s family. Our idea is that the police bring a team, we bring a team of referees and the overall goal is to raise money so that all proceeds go to the victim’s family,” he said.
An online fundraiser has also been set up to help pay for Alvarado’s funeral costs.
Toronto police have yet to release information on the suspects in Alvarado’s death.
Alvarado is the city’s 56th homicide victim of the year.
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