Comments about ‘Soccer referee punched during game dies of injuries’

Return to article »

Published: Saturday, May 4 2013 11:25 p.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Salt Lake City, UT

clearly the intent wasn't to kill. I don't think we need to treat him like he meant to kill.

Let him go. He won't do this again.


Bountiful, UT

I pray and light a candle for the father and his family. I light a candle and pray that the killer gets what he deserves.

DEW Cougars
Sandy, UT

So sad of this outcome and so sorry for the loss. When are we going to see the good things to get rid of those violance, angers, hates and GREEDS? Rest in Peace Riccardo.

Salt Lake City, UT

@Howard Beal

Your points make perfect sense, of course.

Here is the problem:

[KSL] "The teams playing were not affiliated with the Utah Youth Soccer Association, which represents about 50,000 players across the state...

[Tribune] "The game was part of a 'rogue league' unaffiliated with the association or any city or town recreation department, association CEO Andrew Hiatt said."

Unfortunately, we have here in Utah some youth soccer operations which function out of the regular bounds of bona fide sanctioning bodies and therefore wouldn't necessarily be affected by the additional preventative measures you aptly suggest.


"It was a punch that resulted in a small injury, which due to other physical circumstances with this man resulted in an increase of problems which lead to his death."

YOU do NOT know that, sir! The fact is, ANY punch has the potential to inflict death on ANYONE. "Punching" is not the triviality you imply that it is.

Puyallup, WA

I was dismayed to read this news. How sad for everyone. Folks, it could be that a decent young man had a foolish fit of temper that ended the life of a good man and will change the lives of many others.
sad. "School thy feelings, oh, my brother" has been going through my mind.... "do not it's emotions smother, but let wisdom's voice control"
To me this further evidence of a more rude, undisciplined society in which we live. There are terrible consequences to the wild venting of temper. Everyone needs to get emotions under control. *sad*

Salt Lake City, UT


"clearly the intent wasn't to kill. ... Let him go. He won't do this again. Forgive."

So if he "only" wanted to inflict bodily harm, that's okay in your book? He won't do that again? How do you know? the same could be said of any criminal. "He won't do it again."

Forgive? So then shouldn't we forgive ALL criminals then, by letting them ALL go?

Puyallup, WA

Furthermore, Teachers and parents will be pointing at this incident as an example of what can happen - a cautionary tale to potential hot-heads. My daughter's teacher talked about it today in church. Please, young people learn from this.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

So if I'm Eisenhower Junior High I don't let people play on the field unless I know who they are and what association they are with.

Here's some other problems. Provo School District has spent literally tens of thousands of dollars resoding parts of its practice fields after several serious leg injuries. I believe much of the problem was severe overuse of the fields by other people than Provo HS patrons. This has been a costly thing in many ways ranging from resoding costs, injury costs, the actual school soccer team being unable to play on its field for much of their season, along with loss of space for the P.E. classes for much of the school year.

But the bottom line is that the official or any player associated with this "league" has no legal protection. Not only has this family lost their father, they are likely to be saddled with medical bills that could be six figures. Sanctioned leagues provide protection/insurance in the event of catastrophic injury. I know these "leagues" will continue to exist but whether they play on your local school field can be controlled.

New Haven, CT

Definitely an adult murder charge. I don't think he will get aggravating circumstances hit to this. However, he will be pleading to 15 years at the least. Knowing the reputation of Utah's DAs and how high-profile this case is, he may be stuck with 20 or 30 years.

Kaysville, UT

In some countries, they have gone to war over soccer games. With video games and going to reset or starting over is not the same as real life. Killing, maiming, or injuring people is a lot different in real life than on the video screen. Putting death strategy or even thinking about a bad call going physical is not a good thing to constantly have in a person's brain from playing games or even the many movies or videos out there. Kids have experience in seeing violence, even on the field of hard knocks. Bullying happens in these children's environment more and more. War, boxing, wrestling and other forms of violence don't always go by Hoyle's rules and some don't want to have referees enforce all the rules.

We are a nation of law and order and that is supposedly what makes us different from other nations. We went through a Civil War because of differences between the sides. That war cost us more than the deaths of many people, soldiers and civilians including men, women and children.

We don't go to war over a soccer game. Soccer is more benign than American football?

Saint George, UT

Condolences to the family.

What a tragedy...

IF... the reporting of this incident, is accurate...

The family, of the young man, better hire a good attorney.


How close is the young man to age 18?

Salt Lake City, UT


I didn't imagine the kid merely did something just like so many others. It was reported that the initial injury caused by the boy were minor. It was due to swelling that his condition changed for the worse.

I do not want to hang this boy.
I do not want to put him in prison for 10 years.
I do not want to mark him a felon for life, never to be trusted.

I simply want to help him change his behavior (which may have already taken place), and help him to show others the truth. If he can help others be less violent during sporting then how is it not better that this tragedy serve to prevent future tragedies?

Those who want to cast stones are more guilty than those they cast them at. They further the hatred they pretend to condemn.

The best punishment is helping him change himself where necessary and together helping others change as well. The requirements of justice and mercy can both be met. This provides a uniquely praiseworthy outcome.

Unless you solely desire to be executioner, what more could you hope for or want?

Boston, MA

From Boston, MA: I had no idea what the name of the primary newspaper was in Salt Lake City; I had to search that out. I've followed this horrific story for a few days - - my heart reaching out to the family of the Soccer Referee. When the news came of the man's death today, I felt compelled to share my sincerest of sympathies and condolences with the man's family.

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.

  • 7:25 p.m. May 5, 2013
  • Like (2)
  • Top comment
AZ Blue & Red
Gilbert, AZ

Talk about Justice and Mercy in this case.

First thoughts and prayers to the family who lost their dad. No words can help other than we are thinking of you.

As for the young man. Justice must be served. Yet I think we all know his intent was not to kill this man. Mercy needs to be implemented as well. 99 times out of a 100 nothing other than a headache or a bruise would come of this. Does not make it right but I feel for this young man who in essesance has now ruined his life. I guess the question is what is the proper Justice for a fit of anger that turned out to be a million times worse than what anyone would have thought. How much Mercy do we give? There has to be a balance. I do not think we need to ruin all of his life yet he needs to have some punishment. Not sure not playing sports is it. (Part of ot maybe but not all)

Glad I am not the judge. Either in this life or the next.

Idaho Falls, ID

"The man was not repeatedly beaten, nor was this an attempt on his life. It was a punch that resulted in a small injury, which due to other physical circumstances with this man resulted in an increase of problems which lead to his death."

"It was due to the swelling that his condition changed for the worse."

You are wrong. There weren't other physical circumstances that led to this man's death. They were all a direct result of his trauma to the head. Exactly what do you think caused the brain swelling? Many serious brain injuries manifest initially as seemingly minor symptoms, but as the intracranial pressure increases from brain bleeding and swelling, lack of blood flow ensues and brain cell death results.

Your sentiments, though compassionate for the perpetrator, lack accountability, which seems to be a growing and dangerous trend in our society.

Idaho Falls, ID


"Those who want to cast stones are more guilty than those they cast them at. They further the hatred they pretend to condemn."

So, if I seek justice for this senseless act, I am more guilty? How does that work? And what "hatred" are you talking about? This isn't about race or bigotry. An innocent man who was serving his community was KILLED by a kid who didn't like the call in a sporting event! He may not have intended to kill him but the assault was deliberate and irresponsible. This was not an accident! If there is no significant consequence or punishment, what message does that send to others who may have anger issues.

There are thousands of drivers on the roads every day who are drunk and cause no harm. But the one who recklessly kills a family of four should not be punished because he didn't mean to hurt anyone? This sad story is the same type of situation.

St. George, UT

@ MormonSean

i always see you making the argument that punching others is a pretty common practice amongst americans. i beg to differ. even if your intent is not to kill, anytime you physically hit someone, your intent IS to hurt someone. and if you are willing to hurt someone, you must also be willing to accept any consequences that come with your actions

Pheonix, AZ

Oh no...

Lesson learned... Soccer refs, when you pull out a yellow (or any other color card) don't get so close to the player. Don't get in his face with it. Give yourself some space to duck or run if needed. Obviously, someone getting a card is going to be frustrated by the call. You might have a hot head on your hands like as what seems to have happened here... and look at the mess all have on their hands now... a dead ref, a kid that might have to spend a good share of his life behind bars, and will have to live with the pain of the incident for most of his life. Sad, sad, sad.

Austin, Travis, TX

The 17 year old "kid" obviously has anger problems, and this is probably not the first time he has lost control. Further investigations should determine that. First time or not, he sucker-punched the ref in a cowardly act, and has to bear the responsibility for that. He deserves to be tried as an adult for murder/manslaughter, and I hope he spends years in jail. A sad story for everyone.

Salt Lake City, UT

idablu & EightOhOne,

At any age, including when you were a minor, have either of you ever shoved, pushed, or punched anyone?

Have you?

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments