An Argentinian footballer has been arrested for battering a female referee to the floor after she sent him off for insulting her.
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 during yesterday’s match.
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 by inches and catching her in the neck and on the chin with his clenched fist.
Dalma, who said she was ‘a little dazed’ after the attack, had red-carded the third division footballer moments earlier for verbally abusing her during a bad-tempered melee seemingly triggered by Tirone 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.
Afterwards, she refused to make it an issue of gender and misogyny, adding that it did not matter if she was a man or a woman.
This is the shocking moment third division player Cristian Tirone assaulted female referee Dalma Cortadi
The vile attack took place yesterday during a third division match in the city of Tres Arroyos in the province of Buenos Aires
Dalma had just sent Tirone off for insulting her when he launched his astonishing attack
The vile attack took place yesterday during a third division match in the city of Tres Arroyos in the province of Buenos Aires.
Cortadi, 30, had red-carded two players after blowing 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.’
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.
Last April, Rafael Soriano was fired by Brazilian soccer club Desportiva Ferroviária after he headbutted female referee Marcielly Netto during the quarterfinals match against Nova Venécia
Marcielly Netto, a lineswoman in Brazil, was attacked by Desportiva Ferroviária coach Rafael Soriano on Sunday after one of his players was assessed a yellow card
The footballer’s club said in a statement: ‘We condemn the actions of our player which go against the spirit we intend to instil through the practice of this sport.
‘We would like to show our solidarity with the referee who was assaulted and say sorry for what occurred.’
In April a Brazilian football manager was sacked for headbutting a female assistant referee.
TV cameras captured the shocking moment Rafael Soriano lunged at pint-sized lineswoman Marcielly Netto as she intervened in his row with the ref Arthur Gomes Rabelo
Soriano was protesting the match official’s decision to blow for half-time before his team could take a corner.
He was immediately red-carded as stunned Marcielly reeled back and brought her hand up to her nose to check for blood and any injury.
Soriano’s club Desportivo Ferroviaria announced his dismissal shortly afterwards following a bizarre attempt by the disgraced manager to deny the assault and claim Marcielly, who also works as a personal trainer, was using the fact she was a woman to take advantage of the situation.
The incident occurred during half-time of a regional cup match between Desportivo Ferroviaria, which has competed in Brazil’s top-flight Serie A league, and home side Nova Venecia in the south-eastern state of Espirito Santo.