HOFFMAN ESTATES – An indoor soccer player for the Chicago Soul has been suspended for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, after he entered the stands at the Sears Centre Arena and chased a fan after a game this week.
Soul owner David Mokry said a fan allegedly incited the player, 30-year-old defender Tijani Ayegbusi, with racial slurs during Monday’s game against the Milwaukee Wave. Ayegbusi, who is from Lagos, Nigeria, climbed the wall that divides the field from the stands and chased the fan into the concourse moments after the game ended.
Two of Ayegbusi’s teammates on the Soul also drew one-game suspensions from the Major Indoor Soccer League. Forward Carlos Munoz was suspended for entering the stands to chase Ayegbusi, while defender Fred Degand was suspended for accumulating three cards in a game.
Mokry issued a statement about the suspensions Wednesday.
"On behalf of the Chicago Soul organization, I would like to apologize to the fans and public for the actions and behaviors of our players during Monday night's game,” Mokry said. “It was unfortunate that Tijani had to endure racial slurs throughout the game, but he also realizes that there are lines that cannot be crossed and is very apologetic for his reaction.
“We realize that our players cannot follow with wrongful actions no matter the circumstance, and we have taken disciplinary actions internally to ensure that our players understand that this is a serious matter that cannot occur again. With that said, we hope to have the continual support from our fans as we approach the home stretch of the season and make a push for playoffs.”
The Soul has posted a 9-14 record in its inaugural season at the Sears Centre Arena.