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A Brazilian footballer has been arrested and charged with attempted murder for kicking a referee in the head while he was on the ground.
Match official Rodrigo Crivellaro was brutally attacked by Sao Paulo RS player William Ribeiro, tumbling to the turf before eventually getting knocked unconscious after copping a boot square to the upper neck and head.
The referee was rushed to a local hospital in Venancio Aires and is now reportedly conscious, although he is still being monitored closely by doctors.
As for the rest of the game, it was instantly abandoned with players having to restrain Ribeiro from launching another attack on the grounded official.
William Ribeiro, jogador do São Paulo de Rio Grande foi autuado por tentativa de homicídio após agredir covardemente o árbitro Rodrigo Crivellaro.- Benjamin Back (@benjaminback) October 5, 2021
Torço, e espero que ele seja severamente punido, e que nunca mais pise num campo se futebol. pic.twitter.com/Y6W41QSVfd
What sparked the sickening incident remains unknown, although the horror moment came just a few minutes after referee Crivellaro chose not award Ribeiro's team a free kick.
Footage of the scary incident saw Ribeiro boot Crivellaro which saw him hit the deck.
It was while he was lying on the pitch that Ribeiro then decided to do the unthinkable and boot him in the head.
While an ambulance came onto the field to cart the referee off to hospital, Ribeiro made his way down the tunnel where he was eventually detained by military police.
And according to multiple reports, he has now been charged with attempted murder.
A footballer in the Brazilian lower league identified as William Ribeiro has been arrested by the Police for physically assaulting a referee during a football match. According to reports the culprit, attacked Rodrigo Crivellaro just shortly after Sao Paulo conceded the openi... pic.twitter.com/SJuOtgO4jw- 231base ✪ (@231BDN) October 5, 2021
In the wake of the truly disturbing attack, the "intern" who is running Sao Paulo RS' official social media accounts then chimed in.
"The match is suspended. No championship is worth a life," the tweets read.
"I reiterate our wish for improvement to referee Rodrigo Crivellaro. NOTHING, kids, NOTHING justifies aggression.
"We'll see what happens next, whether the match will be closed or rescheduled.
"The intern stays around here, sad, embarrassed and p***ed off like all of you with this cowardice that happened today in Venancio Aires.
"We are rooting for the match referee's recovery."
Witnessing the vents that unfolded at his club, Sao Paulo RS president Delvid Goulart Pereira confirmed that he would terminate the attacker's contract.
"Unfortunate, regrettable and above all revolting," Pereira said.
"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 battered referee and his family as well as apologising to the public in general for the lamentable scene seen today.
"The contract of the offending athlete is terminated. Furthermore, all possible legal measures in relation to the incident will be taken."