SALT LAKE CITY – A referee for a recreational soccer league was in critical condition in a Salt Lake City hospital after being punched in the face by a teenage player who didn't like a call the man made in a weekend game.
The 17-year-old was booked into a juvenile detention center on suspicion of aggravated assault, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. Those charges could be amplified if the 46-year-old referee's condition worsens.
The incident happened in a flash during a soccer game Saturday at a field at Eisenhower Junior High School in Taylorsville, a Salt Lake City suburb.
The referee called a foul on the player and issued him a yellow card, triggering the player to turn and punch him, authorities said. At first, it appeared the referee just had minor injuries from the single blow.