In breaking sports news this week, we have a Brazilian footballer being charged with attempted murder after he kicked the referee in the head during a second division game between Sao Paulo de Rio Grande and Guarani de Venancio. William Ribeiro, who plays for the Sao Paulo de Rio Grande club, kicked referee Rodrigo Crivellaro twice during the match on Monday, the second kick landing while the referee lay on the ground.
The incident took place after Crivellaro failed to award Ribeiro’s team a free kick, prompting Ribeiro to physically assault him. The match was instantly suspended and Crivellaro was taken to hospital as the kick had rendered him unconscious. He was released from hospital the next day and has told journalists he hasn’t even seen footage of the attack yet.
Ribeiro was arrested at the stadium and taken into custody. He has now been charged with attempted murder for the intentional attack on Crivellaro. A local police officer has informed journalists that a judge will determine whether Ribeiro will remain remanded in custody or will be permitted release on bail. A quote from the officer identifies Ribeiro’s attach on the referee as “very strong and violent” and stated that he “kicked the referee in the head and made him pass out”. The referee had no opportunity to defend himself or escape the attack, according to the officer.
Ribeiro’s contract was instantly terminated by Sport Club Sao Paulo, and they released a statement identifying the attack as “one of the saddest episodes in their history”. The match where the assault occurred was taking place on the anniversary of the club’s launch on 4th October 1908, celebrating the team’s 113th birthday.
It is likely a lengthy court case will follow to support a charge as serious as attempted murder. Thankfully the assault – taking place at a televised event – was caught on camera, so can be analysed properly during the court proceedings, no hearsay involved! Probably not the smartest move on Ribeiro’s part to assault somebody in front of cameras and crowds of thousands. Stay tuned for more as the story develops!