A Brazilian soccer referee got into such a heated dispute with a player that he’d just sent off during a match that he pulled out a gun.
Gabriel Murta was refereeing an amateur match in the regional Brazilian league when the incident unfolded. It was taking place in Brumadinho, which is located just outside of Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s sixth largest city, which is also the capital of Minais Gerais, a Brazilian state.
The game was between Brumadinho and Amantes da Bola, whose name, ironically enough, translates as Lovers Of The Ball.
Things started to turn ugly when the manager and players for Amantes da Bola believed that a player for Brumadinho should have been sent off. Murta didn’t oblige with the red card, though.
Furious, Amaantes da Bola’s players, substitutes, and staff then invaded the pitch and immediately began to slap and kick Murta. Unbeknownst to them, Murta actually works by day as a policeman and he’d brought a firearm with him to the game.
After being inundated with physical and verbal abuse from these individuals, Murta was so incensed that he decided to run to the changing rooms, where he’d left his weapon, and then returned to the pitch with it in his hand.
All of this was captured by a shocked spectator in the crowd, who filmed it on his mobile phone. Murta was able to be restrained by his linesman, but he could be seen encroaching closer and closer to Amantes da Bola’s players while gesticulating, shouting, and waving the gun around at them.
According to the Mirror, the player who is believed to have assaulted Murta could be seen quickly leaving the pitch as he noticed that the referee was running back onto the field with the weapon in his hands.
As Murta moved to confront the man responsible for the abuse he’d received, two linesman quickly approached Murta and were able to calm him down. Then, alongside one of the goalkeepers, they were able to persuade Murta to return back to the dressing rooms, where he then returned his weapon.
Speaking after the incident, Giuliano Bozzano, who is the boss of the referee’s association, looked to defend Murta, insisting that he went to retrieve the weapon because he felt threatened by the staff at Amantes da Bola.
In fact, he felt so afraid that he believed he needed a weapon to quell the commotion. However, Bozzano insisted that he was now waiting to get more information on the matter before he passed judgement.
Bozzano explained, “The Minais Gerais Football Federation has already summoned the referee and a psychologist to a meeting and I’m going to talk with him today.”
“On the basis of that conversation and his account of events and the results of the psychological assessment I’ll decided what if any measures to take.”
Bozzano continued, “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.”
Murta is expected to undergo a psychological assessment and test over the next few days, where it will then be decided if he can continue in his profession, or if he’ll received a suspension or lifetime ban from the game.
It’s also believed that, at this point, officials will reach a decision whether to add a gun to the whistle and cards that referee’s use to try and control games.
You can watch a video of Gabriel Murta taking this unique approach to controlling a game, below.
[Images via pio3 / Shutterstock & YouTube]