Referee decapitated and player is stabbed in local Brazilian football match

  • Anti World Cup Protest in Brazil, June 2013 - Getty Images

Football has always been a far more dangerous sport in Latin America. Players and their relatives have been kidnapped, players have been shot and players have had to go into hiding for fear of either of those grim eventualities befalling them. But what has just happened in Brazil has taken matters to a whole new level.

Brazilian police have said that one man has been arrested after a referee who fatally stabbed a player during a match was decapitated by spectators who charged onto the field.

The remote town of Pio XII in northern Brazil saw this shocking drama unfold as the referee became involved in a heated argument with one of the players. As the confrontation span out of control and the player, 30 year old Josenir dos Santos refused to leave the field after the referee had sent him off, the referee, Octavio da Silva allegedly pulled a knife from about his person (why he had a knife stuffed into his short is anyone’s guess) and stabbed him. The player, Mr dos Santos died of his injuries while he was being taken to hospital.

Upon seeing this, the crowd stormed onto the pitch and began stoning da Silva before butchering him, removing his head and impaling it on a stake in the middle of the pitch.

Police at the regional headquarters of Santa Ines said a 27-year-old man was arrested on 2 July, but added that the investigation will be continuing

Police spokesman Valter Costa said: "We will identify and hold accountable all those involved in this incident. One crime will never justify another. Actions like this do not correspond with state law."

With this profoundly disturbing incident coming so soon after Brazilian cities blazed with protests, officials will be harder pressed than ever to convince the world that Brazil is indeed a safe place to host the World Cup in 2014

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