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SAO PAULO (AP) — A Brazilian soccer player was arrested after kicking a referee in the head during a second-division game, knocking him unconscious, authorities said.
William Ribeiro kicked referee Rodrigo Crivellaro twice during Monday’s match between Sao Paulo de Rio Grande and hosts Guarani de Venancio Aires, the second time when the official lay on the ground.
The incident happened after Crivellaro did not give Ribeiro’s Sao Paulo team a free kick.
The match was suspended and Crivellaro was taken to a local hospital. Ribeiro was arrested at the stadium.
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Crivellaro was released from the hospital Tuesday morning. The referee told journalists he is yet to see footage of the incident.
Local police investigator Vinicius Assunção told journalists that a judge will decide whether Ribeiro will remain in custody during the investigation or be released on bail.
“His attack was very strong and violent, kicking the referee in the head and making him pass out,” Assunção said. “The referee had no chance of defending himself.”
Ribeiro’s club said his contract was terminated after the incident.
More AP soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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