SALT LAKE CITY — Family members of a Utah soccer referee who died a week after a player punched him in the head called on athletes around the world Sunday night to hold their tempers in check so another family doesn’t have to suffer.
They spoke at a candlelight vigil held on the front lawn of the Salt Lake City home of Ricardo Portillo, 46. Wearing white shirts and holding signs that read, “In loving memory of Ricky,” family and friends stood around a table that had a picture of Portillo raising his arms in victory, with flowers and candles surrounding it.
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 night after a week in a coma.
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