Uruguayan player dies after crash, matches suspended

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MONTEVIDEO (Reuters) -- Defender Diego Rodriguez of Uruguayan side Nacional died on Saturday aged 22 after suffering head injuries in a car crash.

The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) suspended soccer matches at all levels this weekend.

"The fixtures of both professional football and juniors has been suspended," AUF president Sebastian Bauza told Reuters.

Nacional, one of Uruguay's two bigs clubs with champions Penarol, had already postponed Sunday's league match against Bella Vista so they could support Rodriguez's family.

Rodriguez suffered a fractured skull, brain damage, punctured liver, broken ribs and other injuries in the crash with a truck on Montevideo's seafront boulevard on Thursday.

The player's father, Juan Jacinto Rodriguez, arrived in Montevideo on Friday from the United Arab Emirates where he works as an assistant to former Uruguay coach Jorge Fossati at al-Shabab.

Rodriguez, a left back who emerged from the Nacional junior ranks, made his first team debut in February 2009. He had started all three of Nacional's matches so far this seasn in the Apertura championship.