Soccer league brings police presence to games after referee attacked

Posted at 5:18 PM, May 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-04 19:18:29-04

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – The soccer referee who was attacked by a 17-year-old player remains in a coma, and Saturday the league he refereed in resumed games with extra security measures in place.

The Liga Continental league played games on Saturday, but they did so with a Unified Police officer present. The league also banned the team the player was a part of.

The officer was hired by the league, and league officials said they will continue to have officers attend weekend games for as long as they believe it is necessary.

The presence of police is a precautionary measure made after referee Ricardo Portillo was hospitalized when a player who was angry about receiving a yellow card allegedly punched him in the face. Portillo is still in a coma.

William Anzora is a parent of a player in the league, and he said he’s glad the police will be at games.

'That`s good, though, because now everybody knows that there’s going to be police officers out here,” he said. “So they’re going to think more about what they do. So it’s a pretty good idea.”

About 500 children play in the league, and players and parents showed their support for Portillo by passing around donation boxes at the games.

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