A football player in Brazil has been charged with attempted murder after a horrifying attack on the referee mid-match.
Footage showed Sport Club Sao Paulo's William Ribeiro's unprovoked attack after the official awarded a foul against him during a league game away to Guarani on Monday.
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Footage showed Ribeiro knocking down referee Rodrigo Crivellaro before he allegedly launched a kick, which appeared to knock Crivellarro unconscious.
Both sets of players rushed in to remove Ribeiro, before medical staff rushed on to help the referee.
Crivellaro was taken to hospital and was later released.
"I decided... to charge the lad with attempted murder because in my perception of the case he took the risk of (inflicting) a lethal outcome," the officer in charge of the case told Brazilian portal UOL.
The attack took place on Sport Club Sao Paulo's 113th anniversary.
The 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.
Football world reacts to referee attack
The football world reacted with horror at the distressing scenes.
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING
Crazy scenes in Brazil where footballer William Ribeiro kicked a referee in the head for a decision he didn't agree with 😳
He’s been charged with attempted murder ❌
The ref is thankfully ok 👍pic.twitter.com/VUhW04HonQ
— FUN88 (@fun88eng) October 6, 2021
Shocking scenes in a Brazilian sixth tier match have resulted in Sao Paulo RS player William Ribeiro being arrested after physically attacking the referee for awarding a penalty against him. pic.twitter.com/KIfg1lvm2Q
— Topsportstv (@Topsportstv1) October 6, 2021
😡 Horrific scenes in Brazil as footballer William Ribeiro is arrested for attempted murder after kicking a referee in the head for a decision he didn't agree with.pic.twitter.com/A5YopyKf0z
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) October 6, 2021
Brazilian second division footballer William Ribeiro is facing an attempted murder charge after he knocked a referee to the ground and kicked him in the neck during a match in Brazil. 😳 pic.twitter.com/Ltfyjp2pLo
— Soccerzela (@soccerzela) October 6, 2021
William Ribeiro kicked referee Rodrigo Crivellaro twice during Monday's match between Sao Paulo de Rio Grande and Guarani. He has been arrested and charged with attempted murder..😩 pic.twitter.com/Fn0NejIDnF
— epiphanyfarmltd 🦚🐐 (@epiphanyfarmltd) October 5, 2021
The small club from Rio Grande, a city of around 200,000 people approximately 320km south of the state capital Porto Alegre, play in the second division of the Rio Grande do Sul state championship.
Monday's match was halted and restarted a day later with Guarani winning 1-0, the state football federation said.
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