Referee Raphael Claus (no relation to Santa) helped Corinthians to a 1-0 win over Santos by reducing the home side to 10 men just before halftime, but they didn't treat him as well as he did them. Angered by the referee getting in the way of a pass to teammate Jadson, Corinthians midfielder Petros appeared to purposefully go out of his way just to give the official a forearm to the spine as he chased down the ball.
Since Claus couldn't see how the contact happened, he apparently assumed it was accidental contact and opted not to punish the 25-year-old, who was substituted in the 59th minute. Corinthians went on to score the match's only goal in the 84th minute, giving Robinho a loss in his first match back with Santos (on loan from Milan).
Anyway, this incident proves that arming referees with canisters of vanishing spray does nothing to deter physical violence against them. Perhaps it's time to introduce vanishing pepper spray.
This has been the Dirty Tackle of the Day: a chronicling of unfortunate events.
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