A Brazilian footballer has been charged with attempted murder after he knocked a referee unconscious having kicked him in the head, according to authorities.
William Ribeiro wanted referee Rodrigo Crivellaro to award a free-kick during Sao Paulo de Rio Grande’s sixth-tier game against Guarani de Venancio Aires on Monday. The official did not. After the referee paused play for an incident seconds later, Ribeiro kicked Crivellaro twice, the second time when the official lay on the ground.
Ribeiro was arrested at the stadium and subsequently charged with attempted murder, with the match suspended until next Tuesday. Medical professionals dealt with Crivellaro after being waved onto the pitch by players and his fellow officials.
A judge will rule whether Ribeiro will stay in custody during the investigation or be released on bail, said Vinicius Assuno, a local police investigator.
“His attack was very strong and violent, kicking the referee in the head and making him pass out,” Assuno said.
“The referee had no chance of defending himself.”
Crivellaro was taken to a local hospital and released on Tuesday morning. He informed journalists that he is yet to see footage of the incident.
A statement from Sport Club Sao Paulo club president Delvid Goulart Pereira referred to the incident as: “Unfortunate, regrettable and above all revolting.
“On the exact day when all the red-green family gathered to celebrate the 113th anniversary of Sao Paulo RS, our club faced one of the saddest episodes of its history, a fateful scene that shocked all people who love not only Gaucho football but all those who just love the sport in general.
“Rest assured, we are sorry and deeply ashamed. We send all the apologies in the world to the injured referee and his family as well as apologising to the public in general for the lamentable scene seen today.
“The contract of the offending player is terminated. Furthermore, all possible legal measures in relation to the incident will be taken.”