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Brazilian player charged with attempted murder after kicking ref

A Brazilian footballer has been charged with attempted murder after he kicked a referee twice - the second time on the head as the official lay on the ground - making him pass out during a lower-league game.

The player, William Ribeiro of Sport Club Sao Paulo, attacked the referee as he was enraged that a free-kick was not given to his side in their match against hosts Esporte Clube Guarani on Monday.

The game was halted 14 minutes into the second half while referee Rodrigo Crivellaro was taken to hospital. He was warded for observation and was discharged on Tuesday.

Ribeiro was arrested at the stadium. Police investigator Vinicius Assuno said: "His attack was very strong and violent, kicking the referee in the head and making him pass out." He added that a judge will decide whether Ribeiro will remain in custody during the investigation or be released on bail.

The attack took place on Sport Club Sao Paulo's 113th anniversary. The club called the incident "one of the saddest in its history" and said it had fired Ribeiro and was examining what further action it might take.

The small club from Rio Grande, a city of around 200,000 people approximately 320km south of the state capital Porto Alegre, play in the second division of the Rio Grande do Sul state championship.

Monday's match was halted and restarted a day later with Guarani winning 1-0, the state football federation said. - REUTERS

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