A Brazilian footballer who attacked a referee on the pitch has been arrested for assault.
According to online reports on Monday night, October 4, Sao Paulo RS star William Ribeiro viciously kicked referee Rodrigo Crivellaro during their league match against Guarani.
His team had just lost 1-0, so it’s unclear why he suddenly fired a barrage of punches at the defenceless referee, who then received another horrific kick to the skull.
Opponents quickly detained Ribeiro, while others summoned the medical team.
According to sources in Brazil, he was awake again by 11 p.m. local time but was still being cared for by medics.
Meanwhile, military police apprehended Ribeiro inside the stadium before transporting him to the police station.
The match was called off with half an hour to go and will continue at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
The Court of Sports Justice (TJD-RS), according to the Gaucho Football Federation (FGF), would “examine the facts and deal with the necessary punishments.”
In the meanwhile, both clubs have shown their support for the injured referee.
The intern in charge of Sao Paulo RS’s Twitter account wrote: “The match is suspended. No championship is worth a life.
“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***ed off like all of you with this cowardice that happened today in Venancio Aires.
“We are rooting for the match referee’s recovery.”
Sao Paulo RS subsequently issued a formal statement apologising for the situation and confirming that Ribeiro’s contract had been terminated immediately.
“Unfortunate, regretful, and above all disgusting,” said Delvid Goulart Pereira, the club’s president.
“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 battered referee and his family as well as apologising to the public in general for the lamentable scene seen today.
“The contract of the offending athlete is terminated. Furthermore, all possible legal measures in relation to the incident will be taken.”
Guarani added: “Guarani de Venancio Aires deeply regrets the fact that occurred in the game against Sao Paulo, in the Access Division, when player William Ribeiro attacked referee Rodrigo Crivellaro.
“After what happened, Guarani is providing all the support for the referee, with immediate assistance from an ambulance and a doctor.
“The Guarani of Venancio Aires despises any acts of violence, whether on or off the pitch.
“Now we all hope that Crivellaro’s recovery is as quick as possible. The club will provide all possible support for the referee and the family.”