Reports: Soccer fans decapitate ref after he stabs player to death

By Larry Hartstein |

Soccer fans in northern Brazil stoned a referee to death, quartered his body and put his head on a stake in the middle of the field after the ref fatally stabbed a player during an in-game brawl, the Associated Press and Reuters report.

The melee started when 20-year-old ref Otavio da Silva expelled a 30-year-old player from the June 30 game. The player refused to leave, and Silva pulled out a knife, according to reports. He stabbed the player, who died on his way to the hospital.

The player's friends and relatives immediately "rushed into the field, stoned the referee to death and quartered his body,” the police in Maranhao, Brazil said in a statement obtained by the AP.

Police arrested a 27-year-old man suspected of being in the mob that rushed the field. Authorities continue to investigate.

The AP gave the player's name as Josenir Abreu, while Reuters gave it as Josenir dos Santos.

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