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Brazilian soccer match results in stabbing and decapitation

Nikki Shewmaker

Double-homicide sparks safety concerns for upcoming World Cup

A dispute between referee and player turns deadly

A Brazilian soccer match turned into a deadly incident last week. Although Brazilian soccer fans are used to violence during games, this incident left one vicious fan in custody and two others on the loose.

During the match in rural Maranhao, an argument broke out between the referee and a player. The referee, Otavio da Silva, gave Josenir Abreu a red card, effectively expelling the player from the game. A heated argument between da Silva and Abreu ensued and punches were thrown. As the fight became more aggressive, da Silva pulled out a knife he had in his pocket and stabbed Abreu several times.

Abreu was rushed to the hospital to treat his wounds, but tragically died in the ambulance. In the meantime, the soccer match continued and when news reached Abreu’s family and fans that he had died, they stormed the field and captured da Silva. The mob tied up da Silva and stoned him. Three men then proceeded to quarter the body before decapitating da Silva and sticking his head on a stake.

Many of the fans in the stands sat and watched as this horrific chain of events occurred and some even videotaped the crime. So far one individual has been arrested in connection with the quartering and decapitation, but police officials are still looking for two more men.

This tragedy has many people worried whether or not police will be able to effectively offer protection and security during the 2014 World Cup as well as the 2016 Olympics, both of which are being hosted in Rio de Janeiro. However, a former Rio police officer, Paulo Storani assured members of the press that they should not be worried. “It’s something that’s completely out of the ordinary which took place in an isolated area of the poorest state in the country, an area where violence is very widespread,” said Storani. “While it’s true we are used to soccer violence in Brazil, this is completely off the charts of what we usually see.”

Even so, there is no excuse for such savage behavior and crime should not beget crime. Hopefully the police are able to track down the individuals responsible for the heinous act.

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