Bolivian football is in mourning after the tragic death of referee Victor Hugo Hurtado.
The 32-year-old collapsed after suffering a heart attack in the 47th minute of the Primera Division game between Always Ready and Oriente Petrolero in El Alto.
According to The Sun, Hurtado was rushed to hospital where he suffered a second attack attack upon his arrival. He was sadly pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
It’s been noted that the match was taking place on the Bolivian Plateau, at the Estadio Municipal, 4,150 metres (13,615 ft) above sea level.
The stadium is considered the highest football ground in Bolivia, if not the world.
It’s obviously too early to tell whether the altitude was partly responsible for Hurtado’s heart attack; however, the effects on altitude on the body can be serious.
Reports suggest for every 1,000 feet that you ascend in elevation, a loss of about three per cent oxygen occurs, per Livestrong.com. The drop in oxygen levels can have a negative effect on the body, which must find ways to compensate for the lack of oxygen.
Footage shows a stretcher rushing on to the pitch to treat Hurtado, who suddenly collapsed while the two teams were playing.
In a statement, Always Ready commented: “The president, board, coaching staff and players of Always Ready are saddened by the passing of Victor Hugo Hurtado Ogeda and feel the pain of the bereaved family.”
Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, expressed his condolences via Twitter.
“We regret the passing of referee Victor Hugo Hurtado,” Morales tweeted. “We send our condolences and solidarity to your family, friends and colleagues. Bolivian football is in mourning.”
Meanwhile, former FIFA referee Keith Hackett tweeted: “Such sad news that Victor passed away during the match at such a young age (32). My thoughts are with his family and friends on such a sad occasion. RIP Victor Hugo Hurtado.”
Rest in peace, Victor.