Melbourne, May 7 (ANI): A referee imposed a yellow-card diving penalty on the dying Croatian footballer as he collapsed to the ground after suffering a heart attack.
Goran Tunjic, a 32-year-old defender playing for Croatian side Mladost, collapsed and fell to the ground after being tackled in the 35th minute of a game against rivals Hrvatski Sokola.
The referee, who had warned the teams in their dressing rooms before kick-off that he would deal firmly with any play-acting, promptly strode across the pitch to the prone player and waved a yellow card at him, The Australian reports.
The Sokola supporters cheered, but the players who gathered around saw Tunjic was in serious trouble.
The referee realised his mistake and called for medical aid. Tunjic was taken off the field on a stretcher and to hospital.
He was declared dead on arrival, with doctors saying he had died on the pitch from a massive heart attack, the paper reports.
“Doctors tried to help him but there was nothing they could do. He just fell dead on the spot,” a club spokesman said.
The game was abandoned, with the score at 0-0. (ANI)