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'Bolivian football is in mourning': Referee collapses and dies during Bolivian league match

'Bolivian football is in mourning': Referee collapses and dies during Bolivian league match
Referee Victor Hugo Hurtado tragically collapsed and died on the pitch while officiating a Bolivian league game at high altitude at El Alto.

The 31-year-old official was in charge of the league match between Always Ready and Oriente Petrolero at the Municipal Stadium in El Alto, which is situated 12,795 feet (3,900 meters) above sea level, when he collapsed on the field in the 47th minute.

Hurtado was attended to on the pitch and was rushed to hospital, where he was declared dead.

Always Ready's team doctor Eric Koszina reported that the official suffered a heart attack on the field, then a fatal second attack as he arrived at the hospital.

'Bolivian football is in mourning': Referee collapses and dies during Bolivian league match

Footage posted to social media showed the moment Hurtado suffered his on-pitch heart attack as players and medical staff from both teams rushed to his aid.

The news has cast a shadow over Bolivian football, and the nation's president, Evo Morales Ayma shared a message of condolence on Twitter, posting: "We regret the passing of referee Victor Hugo Hurtado, who was running the match between Always Ready and Oriente Petrolero.

"We send our condolences and solidarity to your family, friends and colleagues. Bolivian football is in mourning."

After Hurtado was transported to hospital with the game at 0-0, the match resumed, with Always Ready running out 5-0 winners.

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