A Brazilian soccer player has been charged with attempted murder after he brutally kicked a referee in the head during a lower league game in the nation’s south.
- The player William Ribeiro attacked the referee after a foul was awarded
- The referee was later released from hospital
- Ribeiro’s team lost the game when it was restarted the next day
Sao Paulo RS player, William Ribeiro, attacked the referee after he awarded a foul against him during a lower league game away to Guarani de Venacio Aires.
In footage of the attack, referee Rodrigo Crivellaro rolls along the pitch into frame as Ribeiro lifts himself from the ground next to him.
Ribeiro then swings a kick, making contact with the back of the referee’s head.
The referee then lies motionless on the ground as other players move in to attempt to calm the situation.
The game was halted 14 minutes into the second half while Crivellaro was taken to hospital.
“I decided to charge him with attempted murder because, in my judgement of the situation, he risked inflicting a lethal injury,” the officer in charge of the case told Brazilian portal UOL.
The Sao Paulo club called the incident “one of the saddest in its history” and said it had summarily fired Ribeiro and was examining what further action it might take.
The attack took place on the club’s 113th anniversary.
The small club from Rio Grande, a city of around 200,000 people, play in the second division of the Rio Grande do Sul state championship.
The match was halted and restarted a day later with Guarani winning 1-0.