Decapitated Referee: Soccer Ref Beheaded in Brazil

    July 6, 2013

A soccer match in Brazil has ended badly.

Long story short: A referee flags a player; player gets ticked off and fights the referee; the referee breaks out a knife and stabs the player in self-defense; the player dies; the fans storm the field, decapitate the referee, and stake his head at mid-field.

Short story long: In the Brazilian state of Maranhao, an unlucky football referee, Otavio da Silva, expelled otherwise well-behaved player Josenir Abreu. The two began to fight, and da Silva pulled out a knife (soccer refs pack knives in Brazil, I guess) and stabbed Abreu. Abreu died on his way to the hospital.

After the stabbing, fans stormed the field and stoned da Silva to death (again, because Brazilian soccer fields are littered with stones), then those fans removed da Silva’s head and staked it at midfield (once again, because they have stakes available for head-staking in Brazilian footie matches).

This occurrence is unwelcome publicity for a nation that is gearing up to host the next World Cup and the next summer Olympic Games.

Brazil is getting ready to host the 2014 World Cup for soccer and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Rio has already faced heavy criticism in light of its longstanding crime problems. While the country has made attempts to cope with the drug issues in its favelas, it has also had logistical problems with the construction of new facilities for the events, as well as maintenance of existing facilities. The country has faced substantial troubles in recent weeks as protesters have taken to the streets to oppose the expenditures related to the upcoming World Cup events.

Police have arrested a 27-year-old man in conjunction with the beheading and are investigating the incident further.