A match between two Brazilian teams went viral after one of the players launched a vicious assault on the referee, with the footballer having since been charged with attempted murder.
It is very rare that you see players and officials engage in physical altercations, but an incident of such a nature took place during a Gaucho Championship Access Division clash in Brazil earlier this week.
The tie between sixth-tier sides Guarani RS and Sao Paulo RS was brought into disrepute with 30 minutes remaining when the referee, Rodrigo Crivellaro, had to be rushed to hospital following an attack from William Ribeiro.
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According to GiveMeSport, with his team 1-0 down at the time, the Sao Paulo player punched the official to the ground before kicking him in the head after the referee had not blown his whistle for what he believed should be a free-kick.
In a video of the incident that has gone viral, the footballer can be seen kicking the referee before being restrained by opponents, who immediately called for medics to rush on to the pitch to check Crivellaro's condition.
Here is a clip of the shocking moment:
A decision was soon made to put him in an ambulance and take him to hospital, while Ribeiro was reportedly later seen in handcuffs leaving the stadium with the military brigade.
Venancio Aires Civil Police Chief Vinicius Lourenco de Assuncao has since confirmed that the player had been booked on an attempted murder charge without bail because his actions took the "risk of a lethal outcome", according to Brazilian news outlet UOL.
It has also been confirmed that the Crivellaro is awake, but still continues to be monitored by doctors.
Following the shocking incident, Sao Paulo president Delvid Goulart Pereira confirmed that Ribeiro's contract has been terminated.
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"Unfortunate, regrettable and above all revolting," Pereira said, per GiveMeSport.
"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."
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