An Argentinian footballer has been arrested for punching a female referee to the floor after she sent him off for insulting her.
Cristian Tirone was filmed running towards Dalma Cortadi before he punched her head as she wrote his name down in her notepad after she red-carded him.
Dalma, who said she was ‘a little dazed’ after the attack, had red-carded the third division footballer moments earlier for verbally abusing her after she showed him the card for kicking the ball away.
The shocked referee got to her feet moments later as a male linesman pushed Tirone away before police rushed onto the pitch to arrest him following a struggle.
She was taken to hospital but released following a check-up. The match was suspended.
The female referee later refused to make it an issue of gender and misogyny, adding that it did not matter if she was a man or a woman.
She said after the attack: ‘I’m a little dazed after what happened but otherwise okay and I’m receiving the support of colleagues and family.
‘Doctors have ordered me to rest.
‘The blow was to my neck, with a closed fist, and I hurt my elbow when I hit the ground.
‘I had red-carded Tirone because he insulted me and that’s when he attacked me.
‘I wasn’t expecting it because I was writing his name down when I felt the blow. I fell to the ground and can’t remember anything else after that.
The ref, who confirmed she was pressing charges, added: ‘I’m still coming to terms with what happened. All I want is justice to be done.
‘Gender and whether this was done to a man or a woman doesn’t matter here.
‘What matters is that there is not this level of aggression in football or anywhere else.
‘People like this man have no place in football. I came out of this okay but it could have been a lot worse.’
Regional football chiefs were due to meet today to decide how to punish Tirone, with a life ban being mooted as the most likely possibility.
Eduardo Aparicio, head of the Agency for the Prevention of Violence in Sport, said he had spoken to the referee and assured her ‘the full weight of the law’ would fall on Tirone.