A Mexican referee Fernando Hernandez kicked a player in his private part following a clash during a live match.
Tempers boiled over between Club America players and Leon players as the two sides clashed in Liga MX game.
A lot was at risk in the tie, including a place in the CONCACAF Champions League.
While collisions between players are not rare in high-profile games, it is very rare to have a referee assault a player.
The tie between Club America and Leon slipped into chaotic scenes and sparked reactions when the referee seems to have assaulted one of the players, who joined others to confront him on a yellow card decision to a teammate.
In a viral footage, the referee, identified as Fernando Hernandez, had players gathered around him as they protested his decision to issue one of them a yellow card.
The victim apparently made the referee lose his cool while he was remonstrating in his face, protesting the yellow card.
The player who was assaulted by the referee was later identified as Lucas Romero.
Romero was seen wreathing in agony before falling to the ground after being kneed in his private part by Fernando Hernandez.
The referee officiated the heated Liga MX clash between Leon and Club America, both sides earnestly battling for qualification for CONCACAF Champions League.
The faceoff started when Lucas Romero’s teammate Jaine Barreiro saw yellow from Fernando Hernandez.
Lucas joined some of his teammates to protest the decision. He seemed very close to the referee before the referee kicked him in a subtle move that nearly escaped the camera.
It was Lucas Romero’s fall that revealed the kick because the referee stared straight at his face before sticking out his knee to down Romero.
Mexican authorities have immediately swung into action after the incident. Investigations are ongoing.
There are reports Fernando Hernandez could face a heavy penalty for his action against Romero while the players could also be sanctioned for their reaction toward the yellow card that was issued to Jane Barriero.
After the incident, Lucas Romero continued in the game against Leon.
They were trailing 2-1 before Romero tied the game with a late equaliser to ensure both sides share spoils.
After the game, the footage of the incident went viral with fans and pundits blasting Fernando Hernandez for losing his cool against Lucas Romero.
There are speculations Fernando Hernandez could face hefty sums as fine if found guilty.
He could also be suspended from officiating matches in Mexico’s elite division as a disciplinary measure.