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Soccer Player's Punch Leaves Ref With Brain Injury

Player was angry about getting ejected: cops
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2016 12:43 PM CST

(Newser) – Police are searching for a soccer player who gave a referee a traumatic brain injury on Sunday morning in San Francisco. During an adult-league game, the 33-year-old referee gave a player a yellow card for a violation, which the player apparently argued, police tell the San Francisco Chronicle. The referee gave the player a second violation, then a red card, kicking him out of the game. That's when the player allegedly punched the referee from behind, knocking him unconscious, breaking his jaw, and causing a brain injury, police say. The referee is expected to survive.

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"If you're a fanatic in the sport, that's one thing, but to assault a referee; to take your aggression because of a call he made, that's a problem," an officer tells CBS San Francisco. The player—described as over 6 feet tall, 20 to 25 years old with black or brown hair—reportedly knew the referee and fled in a white pick-up truck. "It's just a matter of time before we identify who he is, and hold him accountable," the officer says. Last week in Argentina, a soccer referee was shot and killed by a player he kicked out of a match, reports the Guardian. (A ref also died from a punch in 2014.)

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