In a harrowing incident during the Copa América match between Canada and Peru, assistant referee Humberto Panjoj collapsed on the field at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, according to The Athletic. The unsettling event occurred just before the halftime whistle, throwing both teams and spectators into alarm.

Canadian goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau was the first to reach the stricken official, promptly rolling him onto his back and signaling urgently for medical assistance. The exact cause of Panjoj’s collapse remains undisclosed, with the incident occurring away from the main action and subsequently not broadcasted by Fox.

Medical personnel quickly attended to Panjoj, providing immediate care on the pitch before he was stretchered off the field. At the time, the area was under a severe heat advisory with temperatures soaring above 90 degrees, and the heat index hitting oppressive heights of over 100 degrees as play resumed in the second half. The extreme conditions led many fans to seek refuge in the cooler, shaded areas of the stadium.

The intense heat has been a significant concern throughout the tournament, affecting not just the players but everyone involved. Ronald Araujo, a defender for Uruguay, disclosed that he suffered from dizziness and dehydration during their match against Panama, which forced him to withdraw at halftime just two days prior in Florida.

Despite the dramatic scenes and challenging weather, the game continued, and the scoreline remained locked at 0-0 until well into the second half. The deadlock was finally broken in the 74th minute when Jonathan David netted a goal for Canada. This came shortly after Peru’s Miguel Araujo received a red card, reducing the Peruvian side to ten men. Canada maintained their lead, securing a historic victory — their first ever in the tournament’s history.



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