Family of Utah soccer referee who died holds vigil

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

The family of a Utah soccer referee who died after being punched by a teenager player called on soccer players worldwide to respect referees to prevent the same thing happening to somebody else.

Family and friends of 46-year-old Ricardo Portillo gathered at his house Sunday for a vigil. They wore white shirts and held signs that said, "In Loving memory of Ricky." A picture of him raising his arms in victory was on a table surrounded by flowers and candles.

Police have accused a 17-year-old player in a recreational soccer league of punching Portillo after he called a foul on him and issued him a yellow card. Portillo died Saturday after a week in a coma.

His oldest daughter, Johana Portillo, said Sunday that she hopes to forgive the teenager someday but that it's still too soon.

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