William Ribeiro, a player for lower-league Brazilian side Sao Paulo RS, is facing an attempted murder charge after intentionally kicking a referee in the neck during a match.
The match with Guarani on Monday was abandoned early in the second half when Ribeiro kicked referee Rodrigo Crivellaro, leaving him unconcscious.
Crivellaro had given a free-kick against Sao Paulo RS, with the team losing 1-0, with Ribeiro reacting with the violent attack.
The referee was taken away in an ambulance, while Ribeiro has escorted away by police.
Sao Paulo RS clubpresident Delvid Goulart confirmed that the player’s contract has been terminated as a result.
A statement from Goulart read: ‘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.’
Crivellaro was discharged from hospital on Tuesday.
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