A football has been arrested after sending a female referee who had just red-carded him to hospital with a vicious right-hook.
Cristian Tirone’s astonishing attack was filmed as he ran towards Dalma Cortadi and felled her with a right-hook as she wrote his name down in her notepad.
Footage of the horror assault showed he failed to connect fully despite his obvious intention to do Dalma damage, missing the back of her head and catching her in the neck and on the chin.
The shocked referee got to her feet moments later as a linesman pushed Tirone away before police rushed onto the pitch to arrest him. She was taken to hospital after the match was suspended but released following a check-up
The attack took place on Sunday during a third division match in the city of Tres Arroyos in the province of Buenos Aires. Cortadi, 30, had sent off two players after blowing for a foul, including Tirone.
The 34-year-old, who plays for a team called Deportivo Garmense, received his marching orders for insulting her seconds before he assaulted her. 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.”
Lamentable, indignante y repudiable lo ocurrido en un partido de tercera división en La Liga Regional de Tres Arroyos 🇦🇷 entre el Deportivo Independencia vs Garmense , Dalma Cortadi jueza principal recibe un brutal y cobarde golpe por detrás de Cristian Tirone.
— Showfutboleo (@showfutboleo) July 31, 2022
Regional football chiefs are 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.