They are almost as essential to the functioning of the game as the ball they bring onto the pitch for kickoff, but soccer referees across the world are feeling under siege.
Subjected to vulgar insults, threatened, chased off the field, attacked, hospitalized and, tragically, killed.
Read: Referee punched in face by teen player dies
In the most recent incident, 46-year old Ricardo Portillo -- refereeing an amateur game in the Salt Lake City suburb of Taylorsville -- was punched on April 27 after booking a player. He died from his injuries on Saturday. ...
See the whole article here, courtesy of CNN.
Kicking Back Comments: A very worthy read. The author is right on many level in this piece. While I am not a fan of Zero Tolerance as defined in many youth leagues around here, such referee abuse is the largest reason for it to stop it before it even starts.
My earlier question still stands in how far we as referees can go to (physically) stop such an incident before it turns deadly?