A footballer charged with breaking a referee's jaw is a former Samoan international player.

Tama Fasavalu, 36, scored two goals in a World Cup qualifying match in 2004, and played three matches for his country.

The 1.90m Manukau City player has appeared in court charged with assaulting volunteer referee Len Gattsche after being sent off in a fiery Anzac Day clash against Tauranga City.

A police spokeswoman said Fasavalu had been ordered to surrender his passport and reside at a Mangere address as part of his bail conditions.


He has been suspended indefinitely by his Manukau City club.

He would reappear in Manukau District Court on May 23.

His Linkedin profile described him as a Mainfreight driver.

Gattsche was released from Middlemore Hospital yesterday, his birthday, after he underwent surgery to fix his jaw.

His wife said he would not be able to eat solid food for at least two months.

Gattsche was in good spirits but had to "take things very slowly", she said.

The sound of Gattsche's jaw cracking was heard by spectators 40m away.

Witnesses said Fasavalu had been sent off after receiving two yellow cards for heavy tackles.

North Shore United club captain Ian Gray said he was aware of several violent incidents involving Manukau City over the past few years.

Auckland Football is also investigating the incident.

Gattsche, who has at least 15 years' experience as a referee, is unlikely to return to the sport.