A referee is facing murder charges after football players allegedly forced him to kill a member of the opposing team in southern Malawi, police said Friday.

The referee was overseeing a football match between two local teams , Billiat FC and Chilengo FC, in the town of Thyolo on Wednesday , when Chilengo FC players refused to accept the referee’ s decision to invalidate a goal, district police spokesman Benjamin Foster told dpa.

In the ensuing scuffle , the referee fled to a nearby house, which the players lit to smoke him out , according to Foster.

When the referee ran out of the burning building , the players forced him to smack a Billiat FC player repeatedly with a stick , the spokesman said .

The player later died of his injuries in hospital, added Foster.

“The referee turned himself over … He is facing murder charges, ” he said . 

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