William Ribeiro

Brazilian footballer charged with attempted murder after kicking referee on the head

Authorities have accused a Brazilian footballer of attempted murder after kicking a referee in the head during a second-division match and knocking him unconscious.

During Monday’s encounter between Sao Paulo de Rio Grande and hosts Guarani de Venancio Aires, William Ribeiro kicked referee Rodrigo Crivellaro twice, the second time while the official was on the ground.

The incident occurred when Crivellaro failed to award a free-kick to Ribeiro’s Sao Paulo squad.

The game was called off after Crivellaro was struck unconscious and transported to a local hospital. Ribeiro was arrested and charged with attempted murder at the stadium.

Crivellaro was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday. The referee told reporters that he had yet to examine the video of the event.

According to local police investigator Vinicius Assuno, a judge will determine whether Ribeiro will stay in jail during the inquiry or be freed on bond.

“His attack was quite powerful and aggressive, kicking the referee in the head and knocking him out,” Assuno added.

“There was no way for the referee to justify himself.”

The halted match will be resumed on Tuesday of the following week. Sports Club Sao Paulo issued a statement, apologising for “one of the darkest incidents in their history” and announcing that the player’s contract with the club had been terminated.

The event occurred on the 123rd anniversary of the city of Sao Paulo.

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