Soccer referee punched by player in Utah dies

MURRAY, Utah — Ricardo Portillo’s daughters had begged him to stop refereeing in a soccer league because of the growing risk of violence from angry players.

Now they’re faced with planning his funeral after he succumbed to injuries late Saturday that had put him in a coma for a week since a 17-year-old goalie punched him in the head.

Authorities say the teen punched Portillo after the youth was called for a foul and issued a yellow card.

“The suspect was close to Portillo and punched him once in the face as a result of the call,” Unified police spokesman Justin Hoyal said in a statement.

The suspect has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault. Hoyal said authorities will consider additional charges since the 46-year-old Salt Lake City man has died.



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