If you thought that the most punitive thing a soccer referee can do to a player on the pitch was to show him a red card to disqualify him from the game, the video below throws that theory into dispute. Because as we’ve just learned, a ref also can pull a gun.
Here’s the scene from what the Mirror called a lower-league game in Brazil.
So, that escalated quickly, eh?
According to media reports, via NPR, the 27-year-old referee Gabriel Murta was slapped and kicked by a player from the Amantes da Bola squad after Murta failed to give a red card to the other team following a foul. That apparently is what motivated Murta, who works as a policeman, to retire to the dressing room, where he allegedly grabbed his gun and returned to the field.
At this point, we’re not sure if Murta will be punished, but according to Giuliano Bozzano, the head of the referees’ association, Murta will speak to a mental health professional.
“The Minais Gerais Football Federation has already summonsed the referee and a psychologist to a meeting, and I’m going to talk with him today,” Bozzano said, via Yahoo Sports. “On the basis of that conversation and his account of events and the results of the psychological assessment, I’ll decide what, if any, measures to take. What’s happened is obviously not a common occurrence and I don’t want to rush into anything. At the moment it happened he’s opted for getting his gun, because in his view, it was a question of controlling a situation.”
It’s also probably illegal. But hey, the guy is a referee and a cop. He probably knows the rules. And if not, he certainly knows how to enforce them.