Wrestler kicks referee in the face and breaks his jaw in horrific accident during match in Tenerife

982

A wrestler was caught on camera kicking a referee in the face and leaving him with a broken jaw during a bout in Tenerife.

Angel Melian had been umpiring at an arena in Santa Ursula on the island of Tenerife during a series of bouts between first division island sides Tijarafe Guanche and Tenerife Shipyards Ravelo.

The footage begins as two wrestlers grapple with each other in the middle of the sandpit ring as others look on in the background. 

Angel Melian had been umpiring at an arena in Santa Ursula on the island of Tenerife during a series of bouts between first division sides. The footage begins as two wrestlers grapple with each other in the middle of the sandpit ring

Angel Melian had been umpiring at an arena in Santa Ursula on the island of Tenerife during a series of bouts between first division sides. The footage begins as two wrestlers grapple with each other in the middle of the sandpit ring

Angel Melian had been umpiring at an arena in Santa Ursula on the island of Tenerife during a series of bouts between first division sides. The footage begins as two wrestlers grapple with each other in the middle of the sandpit ring

Angel moves in closer toward the duelling pair to get a better look at the scuffle.

But he hurriedly tries to step back when he realises one of the wrestler’s is attempting to lift his rival to dump him on the ground. 

One of the wrestlers, Ruben Rodriguez, then flies up into the air with his right leg flailing wildly behind him.

His foot makes contact with Angel’s chin with a thud which could be heard clearly over the noise of the crowd in the stands. 

One of the wrestlers, Ruben Rodriguez, flies up into the air with his right leg flailing wildly behind him and his foot makes contact with Angel's chin with a thud

One of the wrestlers, Ruben Rodriguez, flies up into the air with his right leg flailing wildly behind him and his foot makes contact with Angel's chin with a thud

One of the wrestlers, Ruben Rodriguez, flies up into the air with his right leg flailing wildly behind him and his foot makes contact with Angel’s chin with a thud

The referee's glasses fly off his face and he drops to the ground as onlookers gasp

The referee's glasses fly off his face and he drops to the ground as onlookers gasp

The referee’s glasses fly off his face and he drops to the ground as onlookers gasp

The two wrestlers rush over to assist him, along with other sportsmen, as he sits up on to his knees

The two wrestlers rush over to assist him, along with other sportsmen, as he sits up on to his knees

The two wrestlers rush over to assist him, along with other sportsmen, as he sits up on to his knees

The referee’s glasses fly off his face and he drops to the ground as onlookers gasp.

The two wrestlers rush over to assist him, along with other sportsmen, as he sits up on to his knees.

Angel was rushed to hospital, where he was told that he had a broken jaw, and an assistant referee took over for the remainder of the match. 

Angel (pictured) was later rushed to hospital with a broken jaw

Angel (pictured) was later rushed to hospital with a broken jaw

Angel (pictured) was later rushed to hospital with a broken jaw

A journalist covering the event tweeted afterwards: ‘The footage is brutal. I’ve spoken to Angel and he’s devastated. He’s got a broken jaw and he’s in a lot of pain.

‘He told me the outcome could have been a lot worse if he had been hit elsewhere. 

‘He’s on painkillers and waiting for the surgeon to have a look at him and decide when to operate.’

Insurance worker Angel, who lives in the Tenerife capital Santa Cruz, later said in a social media message: ‘Everyone’s seen it and I’m having a bad time of it to tell the truth.

‘It was just bad luck. A freak accident. Thanks for all your support.’

Canarian Wrestling – Lucha Canaria in Spanish – is the most popular traditional local sport in the Canary Islands.

Wrestlers start in the middle of a sand circle called a terrero. 

The aim is to make their opponent touch the sand with any part of their body except their feet by throwing them off balance and two falls are required to win a bout.