Brazilian soccer spectators decapitate a referee after he fatally stabs an amateur football player for refusing to leave the game field. (File photo)
A soccer referee has been beheaded by the spectators at a game following a dispute in which he fatally stabbed an amateur player for refusing to leave the field.
Brazilian police spokesman Kena Souza said on Saturday that the incident took place on June 30 in the remote northern town of Pio XII.
The dispute began when player Josenir dos Santos, 30, approached the referee Octavio da Silva, 20, during a game to object to a ruling.
Dos Santos reportedly threw a punch at da Silva, who took out a knife he was carrying and fatally stabbed the player.
The spectators responded to the referee’s attack by storming the field and stoning Da Silva, before they beheaded him.
Souza reported that police at the regional headquarters of Santa Ines arrested a 27-year-old man on July 2 over the killing and authorities are continuing to investigate the incident.
The deadly attack comes as Brazil is struggling to depict itself as a safe place as the host of the upcoming 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
The recent Confederations Cup, which was also held in Brazil in June, was overshadowed by violence as police clashed several times with anti-government protesters angered by the vast amount of money being spent on the sport events.