Brazilian footballer charged with attempted murder of referee after brutal on-field attack
The referee has now been released from hospital following the attack, which left him unconscious
A Brazilian footballer has been charged with the attempted murder of a referee after he kicked the official in the head during a game, on Monday.
William Ribeiro attacked referee Rodrigo Crivellaro during the match between Sao Paulo de Rio Grande and hosts Guarani de Venancio Aires after becoming frustrated at his refusal to give his team a free-kick. After kicking him to the ground, he then aimed a second kick at Crivellaro's head, leaving him unconscious.
The game was quickly abandoned and the referee was taken away in an ambulance.
Shocking footage of the incident was widely shared on social media platforms on Tuesday.
Ribeiro was arrested at the stadium by police and Sao Paulo de Rio Grande later announced they had terminated Ribeiro's contract in response to his violent attack. The club were quick to release a statement offering their full support to the referee.
"The match is suspended. No championship is worth a life," the club wrote on Twitter.
"I reiterate our wish for improvement to referee Rodrigo Crivellaro. NOTHING, kids, NOTHING justifies aggression.
"We'll see what happens next, whether the match will be closed or rescheduled.
"The intern stays around here, sad, embarrassed and p***** off like all of you with this cowardice that happened today in Venancio Aires.
"We are rooting for the match referee's recovery."
Thankfully, Crivellaro was deemed well enough to be released from hospital the next morning. Ribeiro, meanwhile, has been charged with attempted murder, with local police investigator Vinicius Assuno telling journalists that a judge will decide if Ribeiro should remain in custody during the investigation or be released on bail.
"His attack was very strong and violent, kicking the referee in the head and making him pass out," Assuno told the press. "The referee had no chance of defending himself."
It has since been confirmed that the game will be resumed next Tuesday.
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