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Referee shot dead in Argentine football game

Argentina has a history of violence in football.

The referee was shot dead after he produced a red card
The referee was shot dead after he produced a red card

Tragedy struck a football game in Argentina when a referee was killed by a young player after the official had brandished a red card and sent him off. The incident took place in the city of Cordoba, which is 700 km from the Argentine capital Buenos Aires.

The referee, Cesar Flores was shot three times by the player who got his marching orders. According to reports, the player took out the weapon from a bag in his car and returned to the pitch and shot at the 48-year-old referee.

Police sources told the Efe news agency: “It all happened during the football match. We don’t know [exactly what took place], but it appears the player was angry, fetched a gun and killed him.”

Further reports stated that the player who was sent off shot Flores, once in the head, the neck and the chest. Another player, Walter Zarate was also injured in the shooting but is understood to be out of danger.

This is not the first time violence has marred the sport of football in Argentina. Even professional clubs such as River Plate and Boca Juniors have been involved in massive tussles. One such example being last month's friendly between the two Argentine giants where five players were sent off by the referee and nine others were booked in the game. 

There have also been reports of unrest in other countries with A-League games coming under scrutiny for the use of flares from fans and talks are taking place on even playing games behind closed doors.

A few years earlier, in December 2012, Richard Nieuwenhuizen, a 41-year-old father of three was kicked to death while officiating in his son’s junior football game. Dutch courts were swift in action though as seven people were convicted of the brutal assault, six of whom were amateur players.

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