A man has accused of pushing over his seven-year-old child to block a shot during a game of football has insisted the boy ‘tripped over his feet’.
A video posted to social media appeared to show the boy, playing in a Welsh Under-8s match, being pushed over to save a goal-bound shot.
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The Daily Mail has reported that the father, Phil Hatfield, denied that he pushed the boy.
35-year-old Phil Hatfield is shown on the video pushing his son Osian, six, over in order to block the ball.
Osian was making his first appearance in goal for Bow Street Magpies in a game against Llanilar, in west Wales. The boy falls into the path of the shot, but the rebound is eventually turned in for a goal. At that point, Hatfield Sr throws his arms in dismay.
Osian’s father said: ‘Osian wasn’t concentrating and he’d drifted out of position as the attack came.
‘I was telling him to stand in the middle of the goal but he couldn’t hear me and walked towards me as their player advanced.
‘I was shouting by now that he needed to move towards the ball quickly to make the goal seem smaller to the opponent but it was too late so I gave him a little nudge to persuade him to move towards the player.
‘It wasn’t a shove as such. He just tripped over his feet and went down.’
Mr Hatfield explained that the team rotate positions as they are new to playing, and this was Osian’s first time between the sticks.
‘The coach likes to rotate positions so they all get experience everywhere on the pitch and it was Osian’s turn in goal. We were 2-0 up at that point, but we lost 2-4.’
Despite the incident, his son is happy to continue in goal if he is chosen for the role:
‘He’s been selected for tomorrow’s game and he says he wants to go in goal again. He’s desperate to show that he can do it. I think my enthusiastic attempt to get him in the right position for their first goal might have affected his confidence a bit and he let three more in.’
He is not taking the negative attention too seriously, and praised his son:
‘I’ve had a bit of stick online but in the main, people have seen the funny side. ‘But most importantly, Osian is loving his football. He’s always really disappointed when training or matches are called off because of bad weather.
‘He won’t let his dad’s moment of stupidity put him off football, that’s for sure.’
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