Joao Ferreira Dos Santos (44) started his refereeing career in 1991 and became FIFA AR in 2003. He was the victim of an unusual accident during the Portuguese first division match Uniao Leiria – Beira Mar, played yesterday afternoon at the Municipal Stadium in Marinha Grande. In the 18th minute of the first half, when player John Ogu (Uniao Leiria) was preparing to return to the field of play after receiving medical attention, the AR Joao Santos made a sprint to follow the play and violently hit the Nigerian player getting both lying on the field. The player was able to recover and returned to play, but Joao Santos was removed on a stretcher and taken to the changing room immediately. He was later transported to the hospital in Leiria.
Uniao Leiria’s medical doctor, Amilcar Silva, who provided first aid, said: "He suffered a head injury, lost his consciousness and had a seizure, but always maintained a palpable pulse. He was referred to the Hospital Centre Leiria-Pombal, where he is being evaluated. When he left the stadium, he was already conscious, but agitated. Now they must perform a CT scan so they can tell if it is just a bruise or something else".
"Joao Santos had the misfortune of hitting a rock in motion", explained Leiria’s coach, Manuel Cajuda, alluding to the strong physique of the Nigerian Ogu. “I worry much more about the AR’s health than the fact that we did not win the game", he assured at the end of the match.