WARNING: This article contains images some may find disturbing.
Tragedy has struck an amateur Mexican football game after a referee was killed by a player he sent off.
According to local newspaper Criterion Hidalgo, ref Victor Trejo brandished a red card to Ruben Rivera Vazquez after he protested a foul. Vazquez then headbutted the match official in the face, knocking him unconscious on the pitch.
Paramedics attempted to revive Trejo to no avail. Vazquez, meanwhile, fled from the scene in a pick-up truck and hasn’t been seen since.
Disturbing photos have emerged from the scene showing the body of the referee cordoned off by police tape and covered in blue tarpaulin.
Arbitro de futbol muere en plena cancha.
Jugador le propinó un cabezazo en el rostro tras ser expulsado.
Amigos del Balón.
— Luis Alberto Fuentes (@jaliscoesuno) November 6, 2016
The incident happened in the city of Tulancingo, Hidalgo, 120km north away from Mexico City.
Emergency services have stated that Trejo died of “widespread subarachnoid hematoma” caused by the blow he took to the head.
The NHS describes this as “an uncommon type of stroke caused by bleeding on the surface of the brain. It’s a very serious condition and can be fatal”.
Police are still reportedly searching for the alleged killer.
Anouar Kali becomes first footballer to be sent off by video referee