A verbal altercation at an amateur Brazilian soccer match turned deadly last week when a player was stabbed and killed by a referee, who was later dragged away from the pitch and beheaded by a group of spectators believed to be friends and relatives of the victim.
According to an ESPN report, 20-year-old referee Octavio da Silva Catanhede Jordan stabbed 30-year-old Josenir dos Santos Abreu, who reportedly struck the referee following the on-pitch argument.
According to Ashley Collman of the Daily Mail, the referee attempted to make Santos Abreu leave the pitch when they couldn’t come to terms. The spat resulted in Catanhede Jordan brandishing a pocket knife and stabbing the player several times.
Santos Abreu died en route to the hospital, but Catanhede Jordan was apprehended by spectators, who stormed the pitch and “quartered and decapitated the referee and then placed his head on a stake.” The ESPN report also noted the severed head was placed in the middle of the pitch.
The culprits of the beheading are believed to be friends and relatives of the deceased player, as noted by Collman.
Luis Moraes Souza was arrested following the incident, and according to the report, police are still searching for men named “Chiquinho” and “Pirolo,” also believed to have been involved.
Police Chief Valter Costa addressed the issue and promised to hold the culprits accountable for their actions in retaliation of the murder, per Collman:
Reports of witnesses have indicated some people that were in place at the time of the fact. We will identify and hold accountable all those involved. A crime will never justify another. Actions like this do not collaborate with the legality of a state law.
The incident took place at Pius XII stadium in Maranhao, northeastern Brazil on June 30. There have been no further reports of additional arrests.