Brazil soccer referee killed during match; his head displayed on stake midfield

A soccer referee was beheaded and his head displayed atop a wooden stake at midfield after a match erupted in violence in Brazil.

The bloody brouhaha began when the match’s referee, Otávio Jordan da Silva de Catanhede, became embroiled in an argument with player Linda dos Santos Abreu over a disputed call during a game in the town of Pius XII.

The argument reportedly ended with Jordan ejecting Abreu. Following the player’s ejection from the game, Abreu and Jordan began to fight. During the fight, Jordan produced a small knife and stabbed Abreu, 31, who reportedly died of his injuries en route to a local hospital.


Friends and family of the deceased subsequently rushed the field, tied up Jordan, 20, fatally stoned him, quartered his body, and then, according to the Associated Press, which cited local media accounts of the murder, staked the referee's head at midfield of the soccer pitch.

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Brazilian authorities have reportedly arrested one man and are seeking two others in the June 30 incident in the state of Maranhao, Brazil.

"Witness Reports have already indicated some people that were (there) at the time. We will identify and blame all involved,” senior law enforcement officer Valter Costa told the Spanish website, “A crime will never justify the other. Actions like this do not collaborate with the legality of a rule of law.”

Police arrested Luis Matias de Sousa, 27, and are now seeking two other suspects -- Francisco Matias de Sousa and Douglas Edson de Sousa -- who Matias fingered as accomplices in the bloodshed, according to

It’s not the first time that soccer has spawned bloodshed in South America. Perhaps most notably, a Colombian player was fatally shot in Medellin following his own goal against the U.S. in the 1994 World Cup.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.