Brazilian player charged with attempted murder after attack on referee

A Brazilian footballer has been charged with attempted murder after he brutally kicked a referee in the head during a lower league game in the south of the country.

The player, William Ribeiro of Sport Club São Paulo, attacked the referee after he awarded a foul against him during a league game away against Guarani on Monday. The game was halted 14 minutes into the second half while the referee, Rodrigo Crivellaro, was taken to hospital. He 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 the Brazilian website UOL.

The attack took place on Sport Club São Paulo’s 113th anniversary. The club called the incident “one of the saddest in its history” and said they had summarily fired Ribeiro and was examining what further action they may take.

The small club from Rio Grande, a city of about 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. The match on Monday was halted and restarted a day later with Guarani winning 1-0, the state football federation said.