High School Soccer Game Cancelled When Migrants Refuse to Leave

(John Rucosky/The Tribune-Democrat via AP)

A large crowd of migrants forced the cancellation of a high school soccer game in East Harlem, N.Y., after they refused to leave the playing field, the New York Post first reported.

On April 14, about 40 players from the Manhattan Kickers and FA Euro New York were set to play at Thomas Jefferson Park at 5 p.m.  That is, until a group of about 30 men, who appeared to be African migrants and spoke little English refused to leave, even after the police came.

Erik Johansson, coach of the Kickers said, “I directly asked them to leave and some of them kind of took it into consideration, but then four or five of them said, ‘You know what, f**k it, we don’t have to leave, we can do whatever we want.’”

The police then asked the soccer club to produce their permit to use the field that day. Yet by the time Johansson’s assistant coach was able to access it, a half hour had passed and tensions had risen to the point where neither of the teams felt safe.

“When you show up with two teams in uniform, a ref, and two coaches, usually nobody is asking to see your permit,” said Johansson.

“Even when the game is over, you don’t know if they’re waiting for you, so even if the cops kicked them out, it may not be over. So, we just all agreed, this is too dangerous,” Johansson said.

Johansson, who is from Sweden, understands the perils of permitting a mass influx of foreign nationals who do not share the values of their host country. “I have seen this before, I know how bad it can get,” he said.

Parents told the coach that they were shaken by the encounter and don’t want to play at that field anymore.  One of the parents told the New York Post, “It’s so frustrating that the guys who refused to follow the rules won,” said Maud Maron, a SoHo mom whose son plays on the team, “That’s the message the kids got.”

According to a recent Marist poll, nearly four in 10 New Yorkers say they plan to move in the next five years, with 52% saying the quality of life has deteriorated in the last year.

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