Brazilian soccer player arrested for brutally attacking ref mid-game

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São Paulo-RS player William Ribeiro is seen viciously kicking the referee during a game against Guarani

A Brazilian soccer player has been arrested for attacking a referee and rendering him unconscious during a match.

William Ribeiro, who plays for state-league club São Paulo-RS, violently attacked official Rodrigo Crivellaro whilst playing against Guarani on Monday.

His side had just fallen 1-0 behind but it remains unclear why Ribeiro suddenly lost his cool, with both sets of players forced to restrain him as he booted a helpless Crivellaro in disgusting fashion.

Within seconds, an ambulance drove onto the field and took the referee to hospital in Venâncio Aires, near Porto Alegre in southern Brazil.

Reports emerged later that evening confirming Crivellaro was conscious but still needed to be attended to by doctors at the hospital.

Ribeiro, meanwhile, was detained inside the stadium by military police and taken to the police station and is facing serious criminal charges.

The match itself was abandoned with half-an-hour still to play and is expected to resume at 5pm on Tuesday.

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