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Amateur player kills himself two days after a video of him assaulting a ref went viral

Next to the railroad tracks and with a gunshot to his head. That's how the Argentine police found the body of Williams Tapón, a 24-year-old amateur soccer player that went viral over the weekend in the South American country after a video of him assaulting a referee during a local league emerged online.

What happened?

Following a series of controversial calls made by referee Ariel Paniagua during a game played last Saturday, Tapón got riled up when a teammate was sent off and decided to attack the official by punching and kicking his head.

The assault was so brutal that Paniagua was left unconscious and had to be taken to a local hospital for a further check-up.

On Monday, two days after the incident, Tapón appeared on TV trying to explain his behavior and saying that he had already apologized to the ref. 

"I was mad and kicked him without noticing," Tapón said. "But we talked this morning, and I apologized."

But the apology wasn't enough. The justice was already opening a case for "aggravated murder by treachery to the degree of attempt in the context of a sporting event," while Paniagua said to the media that he didn't feel sure about how sincere Tapón was being. 

"I talked to him. He told me he did what he did in the heat of the moment. But that doesn't justify it. And I feel the apology wasn't coming from the bottom of his heart," Paniagua said.

Hours later, Tapón was found dead.

Amateur player kills himself after assaulting referee

Why did Tapón decide to kill himself? His family has been talking to multiple media outlets in Argentina, and they have laid out a few causes, including the toxic attention generated around the video of him kicking the ref, and the anxiety that Tapón was feeling facing the possibility of being sent to jail.

That's more evident in the WhatsApp audios Tapón sent to his siblings and partner before taking his life, where he thanks his loved ones and asks them to take care of his two little kids. 

"This is not who I am. I'm done. I know people will think I'm a coward, but I'm tired, I can't stand this anymore. Please, forgive me."

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