21 Year-Old Emanuel Ortega Dies After Tragic Accident on the Pitch

Argentine footballer Emanuel Ortega died Thursday after spending nearly two weeks in intensive care in a hospital in Buenos Aires.

The 21 year-old midfielder was playing for San Martín de Burzaco in Argentina’s fourth division, when he challenged a player for the ball close to the sideline. Ortega lost his balance in the physical battle and crashed head first into the concrete wall separating the crowd from the field, fracturing his skull.

Disturbing videos spread through social networks, showing the action.

The Argentine Football Association said Thursday it was suspending all matches this weekend, but perhaps a better response would be to take a closer look at the current state of player safety regulations in lower-division club football in Argentina.