A Utah Soccer Referee Dies After Getting Punched by 17-Year-Old

A Utah Soccer Referee Dies After Getting Punched by 17-Year-OldRicardo Portillo (center) passed away after suffering a blow to the head from a 17-year-old. (AP)

It's not uncommon to see emotions run high on the pitch, but that doesn't make it any less unfortunate when tragedy strikes like it did in Utah. Ricardo Portillo, a 46-year-old soccer referee, died after getting punched in the side of the head by a 17-year-old goalkeeper.

Portillo issued the player a yellow card after shoving a forward into the net, which prompted the teenager to argue with the referee. He then gave him the blow to the head. After "vomiting blood" and feeling nauseous, Portillo was taken to the Intermountain Medical Center where he slipped into a coma because of brain swelling. He passed away soon after.

His family pleaded Portillo to stop refereeing because of a prior attack on the field, but he continued to do so because of his love of the sport.

[via New York Times]

Stay Connected with
Complex Sports
Tags: soccer, utah
blog comments powered by Disqus