Champions League

Copa América: Referee collapsed, stretchered off field during Canada-Peru match in Kansas City

Copa América: Referee collapsed, stretchered off field during Canada-Peru match in Kansas City

The heat index was well over 100 degrees in Kansas City on Tuesday afternoon when the official collapsed on the field. (Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

An official collapsed on the field in the first half of Canada’s Copa América match against Peru on Tuesday afternoon.

Assistant referee Humberto Panjoj went down near the sidelines just before halftime of the match at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, according to The Athletic. Canadian goalie Maxime Crepeau actually made it over to Panjoj first and rolled him over onto his back before waving frantically for help on the field. It's unclear what led to the incident. It was not shown in the moment, as play was on the other end of the field at the time, and Fox didn't show the replay.

Medical staff attended to Panjoj on the field before eventually stretchering him off.

While specifics are still unknown, the region was in a heat advisory on Tuesday afternoon. Temperatures hit well over 90 degrees and the heat index had surpassed 100 degrees as the second half began. Many fans had moved into shaded sections of the stadium as the second half began due to the heat, too.

More than half of venues hosting Copa América games are outdoors as the United States is dealing with a heat wave across the country. Uruguay defender Ronald Araujo even revealed that he had to leave their match over Panama at halftime on Sunday in Florida due to the heat and dehydration, as he "was a bit dizzy" when he made it back to the locker room for the break.

Canada and Peru were tied up 0-0 at halftime on Tuesday afternoon. Canada finally got on the board in the 74th minute after Jonathan David scored, which came about 15 minutes after Peru's Miguel Araujo was given a red card and ejected.

Canada then held on the rest of the way to grab the win, its first ever in the history of the tournament.


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