Mariano Gonzalez knows it’s an “eventful” day in a soccer referee’s life when he or she sends off three players in a game, so how could he possibly describe the day he had on Monday?
Gonzalez was hit in the chest by a large stone thrown from the stands during a game in Argentina. The soccer referee went down within seconds, but managed to recover and continue officiating a contentious second division game between Boca Unidos and Gimnasia.
Gonzalez was hit in the 59th minute after he had shown a red card to a Boca Unidos player. Boca, the home team, was already trailing 1-0 when the dismissal enraged its players and fans at José Antonio Romero Feris Stadium.
Gonzalez was walking toward the sidelines while getting an earful from Boca players when he was struck down. One can tell from the video that the rock was a big one. It hit Gonzalez in the chest, and the official could consider himself lucky that whoever threw the rock didn’t aim higher.
The game eventually resumed with Gonzalez in charge. He later sent off two Gimnasia players, but the visitors held on for a 1-0 victory.
This is just the latest incident which has marred an Argentine soccer game in recent months. In October, fans of Boca Juniors pummeled stewards in the stands during the biggest game of the year (against rival River Plate). In November, fans pelted players with firecrackers and other explosives, halting a first division game. Where will it end?
Watch the rock hit Gonzalez in the video below.