Los Angeles - Two high school American football players could face criminal charged for a vicious assault on a referee during a match in Texas that was caught on film and went viral, US media reports said Tuesday.
Police in the Texas town of Marble Falls told Fox News that assault charges were a possibility pending the outcome of an investigation into the incident which occurred during a match last Friday.
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"I have spoken to a prosecuting attorney and he's receptive to the idea of charges, subject to the findings of the investigation," police sergeant Tom Dillard said.
"The investigation is very preliminary right now."
Video of the incident clearly shows a player from John Jay High School launch himself into the unsuspecting official from behind, knocking him to the floor.
A second player from the team then launches himself at the referee, helmet first, as he lays helplessly on the ground.
Both players have been suspended from the San Antonio area school team amid calls they should receive life bans from playing football in any form.
The official, Robert Watts, was not hospitalized in the incident and did not suffer serious injuries.
The motive for the assault is unclear, reports said.
The attack has drawn an outraged response from fellow match officials as well as parents and educators.
National Football League Referees Association Executive Director Jim Quirk applauded the suspension of the players involved.
"These types of actions against any game official at any level are inexcusable," Quirk said in a statement.
"We fully support the suspensions of the players involved, along with a full and complete investigation by the Texas University Interscholastic League."