Referee’s head put on stake after stabbing

One man has been arrested in northern Brazil after a referee, who fatally stabbed an amateur player over his refusal to leave the field, was stoned to death and had his body quartered by enraged fans.

Spectators also decapitated the referee and stuck his head on a stake in the middle of the field.

Referee Octavio da Silva, 20, stabbed player Josenir dos Santos, 30, on June 30 after dos Santos refused to heed his order to leave the pitch, police spokesman Kena Souza said.

A mob then turned on da Silva, killing him before severing his head in the remote town of Pio XII, named after a former pope. A 27-year-old man was later arrested and police in the regional headquarters of Santa Ines will continue to investigate the incident, Souza said.

Brazil has made significant strides in lowering homicide rates in recent years, as millions were lifted from poverty, but it faces mounting pressures to show it is a safe place for tourists before 12 Brazilian cities host the 2014 soccer World Cup and Rio de Janeiro the Olympic Games in 2016.

In Rio de Janeiro on the day of the brawl, Brazil’s national team defeated Spain in the Confederations Cup. The tournament was marked by an unexpected wave of demonstrations in part to protest the $14bn (€11bn) being spent on World Cup preparations amid a lack of adequate public services.


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