Illegal immigrant squatters refusing to leave field forces cancellation of NYC high school soccer match

"It’s so frustrating that the guys who refused to follow the rules won."


A high school soccer match in New York City was cancelled after a group of men, believed to be illegal immigrants, refused to vacate the field when the teams arrived to play.

The incident occurred last Sunday at Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem, where around 40 boys had gathered for the game. When the teenagers arrived at the park, they were met by a group of approximately 30 men who spoke little English and were believed to be African migrants. The men refused to leave the field despite repeated requests for them to do so.

“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*ck it, we don’t have to leave, we can do whatever we want,'” said Erik Johansson, the coach of one of the teams, according to the New York Post.

In response to the dispute, law enforcement was called to sort out the situation. When the cops arrived, they asked to see the high school soccer team’s city permit for the field.

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

The delay caused by the permit check ultimately led to concerns about safety, prompting both teams to cancel the match.

“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.

Parents were also concerned about the safety of the event, agreeing that the teams should no longer play on that field. 

“It’s so frustrating that the guys who refused to follow the rules won,” one concerned parent said to The Post.  “That’s the message the kids got.”

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