A soccer player 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.
William Ribeiro was arrested after he deliberately beat Rodrigo Crivellaro 14 minutes into the second half of Monday night’s Campeonato Gaúcho Série A2 league game between Ribeiro’s São Paulo team and Guarani at Edmundo Felix Stadium in Rio Grande do Sul.
The unprovoked attacked took place after Crivellaro had awarded Guarani a free-kick.
Video footage shows the official tumbling to the ground moments later as Ribeiro stomps his neck.
Ribeiro briefly stands over an unconscious Crivellaro as one of the Guarani players leads him away as Military Police agents rush on the field.
Brazilian soccer player William Ribeiro (second from left) was arrested Monday night at Edmundo Felix Stadium in Rio Grande do Sul. Ribeiro’s São Paulo team was facing Guarani in Campeonato Gaúcho Série A2 league game when he kicked referee Rodrigo Crivellaro (picture left, lying on the field) moments after the official had awarded a free-kick to Guarani. Ribeiro was booked on an attempted murder charge
Brazilian referee Rodrigo Crivellaro (left) was released from a hospital Tuesday and is recovering from a kick he received to the neck after he was attacked by former São Paulo-RS player William Ribeiro (right)
Crivellaro was taken to Hospital São Sebastião Mártir where he spent the night under observation and was released Tuesday morning.
Venâncio Aires Civil Police Chief Vinicius Lourenço de Assunção told Brazilian news outlet UOL that he booked Ribeiro on an attempted murder charge without bail because it appeared that the footballer had the intention of taking Crivellaro’s life.
Lourenço de Assunção added that it would be up to a court to decide whether Ribeiro would be released from the Venâncio Aires State Penitentiary.
William Ribeiro (second from right) kicks referee referee Rodrigo Crivellaro (middle) during a soccer match Monday
William Ribeiro (green jacket) is being held on an attempted murder charge in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, after the footballer attacked a referee during the middle of a game Monday
The incident tainted the celebration of Sport Clube São Paulo’s 113th anniversary.
Team president Deivid Goulart Pereira announced after the match that Ribeiro’s contract has been terminated, calling his behavior ‘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,’ Goulart Pereira said in a statement.
‘A fateful scene that shocked all people who love not only Gaucho football but all those who just love the sport in general. The contract with the aggressor athlete is summarily terminated. Furthermore, all possible and legal measures in relation to the incident will be taken.’
The match was suspended and is slated to be completed Tuesday afternoon.