SALT LAKE CITY -- 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.
The teen has been booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of aggravated assault.
Authorities will consider additional charges since Portillo has died.
BRADY McCOMBS, Associated Press