8 Jul 2013

Brazilian football spectators decapitate referee

10:30 am on 8 July 2013

Football spectators in northern Brazil have reportedly decapitated a referee after he fatally stabbed a player for refusing to leave the pitch.

An angry mob stormed the field during the amateur game in the state of Maranhao and stoned Otavio da Silva to death before severing his head.

Police say the murder was in retaliation for Mr Silva stabbing player Josenir dos Santos.

The BBC reports the incident took place on 30 June in the remote town of Pio XII but news of it has been slow to emerge.

The state's public safety department says it started when the referee and Mr Santos got into a fistfight after the player was sent off but refused to leave the pitch. Mr Silva then pulled out a knife and wounded Mr Santos, who died on his way to the hospital.

The player's friends and relatives rushed onto the field, stoned the referee to death and dismembered his body, the department says in a statement.

So far police have arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with the crime.