In recently published footage, scenes of a rare and violent nature have depicted Brazilian side Jacuipense’s Meidson Maciel assaulting a match official with a WWE-style clothesline.
It would appear that the assault was completely unprovoked and uncalled for as the match official can be seen slowly jogging towards the halfway line as Jacuipense's opponents prepare to attack.
However, Maciel appeared to take an almost instantaneous dislike to the match official as he violently swung his arm around the referee's head for no apparent reason. In astonishing scenes, the player's teammates then proceeded to crowd the referee, presumably in a doomed attempt to dissuade the official from executing the inevitable.
However, Maciel was duly sent off for his appalling behaviour and reports in Brazil are now suggesting that he may be banned for one year, whilst he is also set to be punished with a hefty fine. This would clearly be no less than Maciel deserves after football authorities have recently been encouraged to tackle abuse and assaults of referees and match officials.
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A common occurrence
Match officials are no strangers to verbal abuse from players but if recent incidents are anything to go by, it would seem that referees are also at risk of physical assaults. Back in September 2014, an Austrian player was reportedly slapped with one of the longest suspensions in the history of the game; 70 matches.
Although the length of the ban may seem a tad exaggerated, it is a suspension that is fully deserved as Ismail Gunduz of fifth-division side SK Rum reportedly head-butted the referee after he had been shown a second yellow card and given his marching orders by the match official.
The player then had the audacity to claim that the punishment meted out to him was "madness", claiming that he will appeal on the grounds that it was a misunderstanding and that he merely slipped. However, Gunduz would do well to accept his punishment and keep his head down, as he was arguably a very lucky boy indeed to avoid a prison sentence.