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Referee dies after collapsing during match at world's highest stadium

FOOTBALL By Mirror | May 20th 2019
View of the Municipal Stadium in El Alto, Bolivia [Courtesy]

A referee has tragically died after collapsing during a football match played at the world's highest stadium in Bolivia.

Victor Huge Hurtado passed away in hospital after he fainted during the game at the El Alto Municipal Stadium.

The tragic scene occurred during a game between Always Ready and Oriente Petrolero in the Bolivian Premier League.

The ground is the highest professional football stadium in the world, sitting at a mammoth 4,150 metres above seal level.

Hurtado, aged just 32-years-old, collapsed in the 47th minute of the game.

In the video, officials and players alike can be seen crowded around him on the pitch as medics struggle to save his life.

The referee remains surrounded by a large group until they eventually manage to get him on to a stretcher.

Eventually, the surrounding group parts and they are able to carry him off to the pitch where he was transported to hospital.

Players and staff crowd around Hurtado [Courtesy]

A replay shown earlier in the match showed that Hurtado suddenly collapsed onto the pitch, with nobody standing close to him.

Tragically, doctors were unable to revive him and he was pronounced dead one hour later at the El Norte Hospital.

Always Ready president Fernando Costa stated that the referee has suffered a cardiac arrest, but the official cause of death is yet to be confirmed.

Costa said it was “too early” to link Hurtado’s death with the altitude of the stadium.

The Bolivian Football Federation confirmed Hurtado's death in a statement.

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