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Soccer player dies after large fight erupts over referee decision

By Jalen Beckford, CNN

A 29-year-old California soccer player died 15-days after a large fight erupted during a match over a disagreement with the referee’s decision, according to the Oxnard Police Department.

On July 10, Oxnard police responded to reports of a large fight between two adult soccer teams on a high school soccer field. Authorities found Misael Sanchez unresponsive and not breathing, Oxnard police said in a release.

“The fight occurred when the two teams disagreed with a referee’s decision,” Oxnard police said. Sanchez was on the field playing when the fight broke out. “During the fight, Sanchez was assaulted by multiple assailants,” police said.

“My family is heartbroken and still in disbelief, as we expected a bright future for him,” the Sanchez family posted on a verified GoFundMe page.

Sanchez was transported by ambulance that day to the Ventura County Medical Center and was listed in critical condition. He died Monday from his injuries, OPD said. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday to determine his cause of death.

Oxnard police made one arrest for the assault, but are asking for the public’s assistance in locating additional witnesses and video of the incident. OPD has set up a website to submit videos anonymously.

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