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Fundraiser held for family of slain soccer ref

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Utahns honored a beloved soccer ref Sunday who just three weeks ago died from a single punch during a game.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - Utahns honored a beloved soccer ref Sunday who just three weeks ago died from a single punch during a game.

Those who knew Ricardo Portillo on the field are coming together to help the family he left behind.

“You're always thinking about him and there's not a day that goes by where I’m not thinking about him still,” said Jose Alcara, a coach in Portillo’s soccer league.

The league is holding two-day tournament to raise money for Portillo's family. Proceeds will help pay the hospital bills and help the family get to Mexico, Portillo's final resting place.

“We know if it would have happened to one of us he would have done the same for us,” said Alcara.

What happened on the field that day has shaken the community. But for one player it's changed her for the good.

“I’m the type of girl that yells at the ref if they do something wrong,” said Leo Cortez, a player who knew Portillo. “I’m not that angry anymore, I’m not that rough anymore.”

Improving sportsmanship may be just what Portillo would have wanted to come from this tragedy.

It's what those who knew him best pledge to do.

“People got to understand soccer is a sport and we come to play united not to fight,” said Alcara. “It's a tragedy what we went through, I know he's looking down on us.”

The 17 year-old accused of throwing the punch that killed Portillo has been charged with Homicide by Assault.
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