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Added October 6th, 2015 by Ian

Brazilian soccer ref pulls out gun during game

Soccer sickness sank to a new low a couple of years ago down in Brazil when a referee was beheaded after he fatally stabbed a player during a melee. It’s not uncommon for officials to be chased by mobs during matches in south America’s largest nation and many fans feel they should be getting some sort of danger pay or police protection. Recently, a referee named Gabriel Murta took matters into his own hands when he pulled out a gun in the middle of a match.

Murta claimed one of the players assaulted him on the pitch and this led him to head back to the dressing room to fetch his weapon. Surprisingly or not, league officials ended up backing Murta’s actions following the drama in the amateur game between Amantes da Bola and Brumadinho. According to the ref, he’s a member of the military police and that’s why he had the gun with him at the game in the first place. He said he went to retrieve it because he was going to arrest the player who allegedly assaulted him.

The Globo Esporte newspaper in Brazil ran an article on the incident while other newspaper reports said he took out the gun to try to stop an on-field brawl. Murta was quoted as saying, “I took a slap to the face and a kick to the shin. I was pressured by several players and sought the gun in the locker room to arrest the offending player. But he ran, jumped the fence and ran away. I just wanted to defend myself and take action as a police officer. I was beaten as a citizen. He committed a crime.”

It’s hard to understand how Murta was defending himself by pulling out a gun several minutes after he was supposedly struck. But perhaps he thought things might escalate. The local soccer committee which resides over the league stated that Murta won’t face any punishment or a suspension, but they have told him he should seek some type of psychological counseling. The league stated that the referee acted in self defence and everybody knows how crazy amateur games can get in Brazil. The league officials went on to say that referees have it tough and are sometimes on the receiving end of beatings while some of them have even been shot. Murta also said it was the third or fourth time he’d been beaten.
A You Tube video of the incident shows a player running away while two other game officials intercept Murta and persuade him not to use the gun in anger.

 
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