Brazilian footballer William Ribeiro is arrested after kicking referee in shocking scenes

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Brazilian footballer William Ribeiro has been arrested after violently kicking a referee during a match.

The incident occurred in a game between sixth-tier sides Guarani-VA and Sao Paulo RS, which was suspended with 30 minutes remaining as the referee, Rodrigo Crivellaro, was taken to hospital.

A photo shared on Twitter shows the moment Ribeiro was arrested and taken away.

Ribeiro's Sao Paulo RS side were 1-0 down to their opponents when he attacked the official.

He punched Crivellaro to the ground before kicking him in the head.

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The player was restrained by opponents as the medical team was called. An ambulance later came onto the pitch to take the referee to hospital.

Ribeiro was later seen being handcuffed by the military brigade.

A video has also surfaced that shows Ribeiro leaving in the military brigade's vehicle.

According to The Sun, Crivellaro was taken to a hospital in Venancio Aires. At 11pm local time, it was reported that he was awake again but still being looked at by doctors.

Both teams sent messages of support for the official.

"The match is suspended. No championship is worth a life," Sao Paulo RS's Twitter account wrote.

"I reiterate our wish for improvement to referee Rodrigo Crivellaro. NOTHING, kids, NOTHING justifies aggression.

"We'll see what happens next, whether the match will be closed or rescheduled.

"The intern stays around here, sad, embarrassed and p***ed off like all of you with this cowardice that happened today in Venancio Aires.

"We are rooting for the match referee's recovery."

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Meanwhile, Sao Paulo RS president Delvid Goulart Pereira has confirmed that Pereira's contract has already been terminated.

"Unfortunate, regrettable and above all revolting," he said.

"On the exact day when all the red-green family gathered to celebrate the 113th anniversary of Sao Paulo RS, our club faced one of the saddest episodes of its history, a fateful scene that shocked all people who love not only Gaucho football but all those who just love the sport in general.

"Rest assured, we are sorry and deeply ashamed. We send all the apologies in the world to the battered referee and his family as well as apologising to the public in general for the lamentable scene seen today.

"The contract of the offending athlete is terminated. Furthermore, all possible legal measures in relation to the incident will be taken."

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