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Copa América referee collapses on field during Canada vs Peru match amid soaring temps in Kansas City

A terrifying scene unfolded during Tuesday’s Copa América match between Canada and Peru when an assistant referee suddenly collapsed on the field amid scorching temperatures. 

Humberto Panjoj suffered a medical emergency during stoppage time in the first half of Canada’s 1-0 win over Peru. 

Panjoj, who had been running on the non-shaded part of the stadium in Kansas City, collapsed on the field and appeared to remain motionless. Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau immediately ran over and motioned for medical attention. 

Panjoj managed to stand briefly before being taken off the field on a stretcher. 

According to The Kansas City Star, Crepeau said after the match that he had seen the official fall, and he quickly turned his attention away from the game to focus on Panjoj’s health. 

“At that point, football does not matter,” he said. 

“I was happy that he was conscious,” he continued. “I got the news that he’s fine now, so thank God. But we need to address that.”

Humberto Panjoj stretched off


Crepeau said that despite the soaring temperatures, players were not given a water break at the 30-minute mark, which is the custom during such playing conditions, according to the report. 

“I don’t care what people say, health of the people on the field – players and officials – that needs to be looked at.”

The Kansas City Star reported that Tuesday’s heat index was about 100 degrees when the match began at around 5 p.m. TSN reported that Panjoj suffered from dehydration.

Maxime Crepeau calls for help


Despite the difficult playing conditions, Jonathan David scored in the 74th minute to help Canada defeat Peru for its first victory over a South American opponent in 24 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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