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US soccer referee Ricardo Portillo dies after punch

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A memorial has been held for a soccer referee who died after he was punched during a game in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Ricardo Portillo, 46, passed away on Saturday after a week spent in a coma following the alleged assault.


Police say a 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league struck Portillo, 46, after he issued him with a yellow card for a foul.


The teenager, who is in juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault, may now face new charges.


A post-mortem examination is pending and no cause of death has been released.



Some 100 family and friends held a candlelight vigil on Sunday night on the front lawn of Portillo's Salt Lake City home.


According to a police report, the incident happened during a game at a high school in the Salt Lake City suburbs.


The teenager was playing goalkeeper when Portillo showed him a yellow card for shoving an opposing forward who was attempting to score.


After arguing with the referee, the teenager allegedly punched him in the face. Portillo sat down and began vomiting blood.


He was taken to hospital and slipped into a coma with swelling on his brain.


The teenager's name has been withheld because he is a minor.



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