Footballer who hospitalized ref by kicking him in head leaves prison, is alleged to have ‘violent history including fan assault’

The Brazilian footballer who faces an attempted murder charge after kicking a referee in the back of the head has reportedly been temporarily released from prison, with local media claiming he had a history of violence.

William Ribeiro caused outrage on Monday when footage of him attacking official Rodrigo Crivellaro after being booked for a foul in the second half went viral.

The match between Sao Paulo-RS and Guarani, in Brazil's southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul, had to be called off as an unconscious Crivellaro was taken to hospital and Ribeiro was arrested.

The referee was later released, and so too was Ribeiro from his duties as a Sao Paulo player.

The incident occurred on the 113th anniversary of the small club some 200 miles from state capital Porto Alegre, and it has described it as "one of the saddest" events in its history.

"[It was] a fateful scene that shocked all people who love not only Gaucho football, but all those who just love the sport in general," read a statement.

"The contract with the aggressor athlete is summarily terminated. Furthermore, all possible and legal measures in relation to the incident will be taken."

Guarani won the replay 1-0 a day later, and Ribeiro's lot has worsened with the chief responsible for the case, Vinicius Assuncao, confirming that he will be indicted for murder as Crivellaro had "no chance to defend" to himself.

Local media giant UOL investigated Ribeiro's past and claimed to have discovered that he has had a history of run-ins with the police while passing through no fewer than 15 clubs. 

Initially signed by one of Porto Alegre's two biggest clubs, Internacional, 30-year-old Ribeiro plied his trade at minnows in the Rio Grande do Sul countryside until arriving at Sao Paulo-RS.

He allegedly has three records of violent incidents, including bodily injuries, threats and inciting a riot, that involved the police in 2009, 2015 and 2021, with the latter occuring just last month.

On that occasion, Ribeiro reportedly assaulted a fan of his own club after not appreciating his tone when voicing his frustrations about coach China Balbino. 

Ribeiro did not have a lawyer at the time who UOL could speak to about his track record. 

His family are said to be "worried and sad" about what came to pass on Monday evening.

Despite the severity of Ribeiro's act, the attorney of the local sports court, Alberto Franco, said that there is no legal provision for Willian to be banned from football.

Ribeiro has had his contract terminated, while the club's president curiously said he had never caused trouble and was one of the leaders of the Sao Paulo squad, and could be banned for up to 180 days.

After being provisionally released from state prison on bail following a custody hearing, the police will take 10 days to decide what action to take next, with any court hearing unlikely to proceed until next year.

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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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