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Arrested footballer ‘facing attempted murder charges’ after knocking referee out by kicking him in the head during match (VIDEO)

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Arrested footballer ‘facing attempted murder charges’ after knocking referee out by kicking him in the head during match (VIDEO)

A Brazilian footballer has been arrested after a shocking attack on a referee that hospitalized the unconcious official, with sources claiming that police will try him for attempted murder after he kicked his victim in the head.

The incident occurred during a match between Sao Paulo-RS and Guarani in the Serie A2 of the Campeonato Gaucho, which is perhaps best described as the second division in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul.

Around 15 minutes into the second half at the Estadio Edmundo Feix, Sao Paulo-RS player William Ribeiro reportedly unleashed a series of blows on referee Rodrigo Crivellaro.

With his side 1-0 down, fans in the ground said that Ribeiro took umbrage to being given a yellow card. 

In footage that has been wildly circulated, the midfielder appeared to boot Crivellaro to the ground and, while he was down, launched another kick from behind which knocked Crivellaro unconscious and required him to be rushed to hospital by an ambulance that drove onto the pitch.

While the game was suspended and should be replayed at 5pm local time on Tuesday, Ribeiro was reportedly arrested at the scene by local military police and taken to a nearby station.

Journalist Diego Torbes-Bage and outlet beIN Sports USA said that Ribeiro is facing attempted murder charges.

Both clubs condemned the act, with Sao Paulo stating: "No championship is worth a life."

"I reiterate our wish for improvement to referee Rodrigo Crivellaro. Nothing, kids – nothing justifies aggression," added the intern responsible for the club's Twitter account, describing themselves as "sad, embarrassed and p*ssed off like all of you with this cowardice that happened today."

"We are rooting for the match referee's recovery."

Crivellaro is said to have regained consciousness at around 11pm. The president of the Gaucho Football Federation, Luciano Hocsman, confirmed that he had spoken to the victim "who was attacked cowardly" and "happily recovering" with the help of medication from the hospital.

Hocsman vowed that the Federation would provide "all the necessary care" to Crivellaro while full power is handed over to Brazil's Court of Sport Justice to "evaluate the episode".

Unsurprisingly, many fans that have seen the footage have called for Ribeiro to be banned for life, or at least spend a lengthy period of time on the sidelines.

Guarani said it had provided "immediate assistance from an ambulance and a doctor."

"The Guarani of Venancio Aires despises any acts of violence, whether on or off the pitch," it declared.

"Now we all hope that Crivelaro's recovery is as quick as possible. The club will provide all possible support for the referee and the family."

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