Football player, 29, dies after fight caused by disagreement over ref’s decision

A 29-year-old football player has died following a fight which broke out after a contentious refereeing decision.

Misael Sanchez of Port Hueneme, California, was one of several players involved in a ‘massive brawl’ which erupted mid-game on July 10. It is said to have been triggered around 11am local time by a refereeing decision, which caused the disagreement and a physical clash with opposition players according to the Oxnard Police Department.

Sanchez was left lying unresponsive on the pitch and reportedly wasn't breathing when first responders arrived, before being rushed to Ventura County Medical Center in critical condition. He died on Monday, more than two weeks after the incident.

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Players as well as spectators were involved in the brawl at Oxnard High School. Sanchez is believed to have been attacked by multiple people.

Oxnard police have already arrested 46-year-old man Berlin Jose Melgara, who attempted to flee the scene, on charges of felony battery in connection to the incident. Yet there are believed to be more assailants involved in the death.

A statement by the Oxnard Police Department read: “Officers spoke to witnesses and learned the fight was between two adult soccer teams. The fight occurred when the two teams disagreed with a referee's decision.

“Sanchez was on the field playing soccer for one of the two teams when the fight broke out. During the fight, Sanchez was assaulted by multiple assailants.”

Investigators have been asking witnesses or anyone who recorded the fight to contact the police. A GoFundMe has been set up to cover funeral expenses for the 29-year-old soccer player.


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