It was quite an eventful weekend in Brazilian soccer. And by eventful, unfortunately, we mean violent.
A brawl between two first-division teams that eventually led to nine red cards drew many of the headlines. But down in the lower divisions, there was a more vicious and vile incident.
A player for Operario, a club stricken by financial troubles, took his anger out on a ball boy at the end of his team’s 1-0 loss to Comercial:
The player, Jeferson Reis, pinned the ball boy to the ground and repeatedly punched him in the face. He was apparently mad at the ball boy for celebrating. This, obviously, is no excuse for his response, which was completely uncalled for and disgusting.
Comercial players had to rush to the ball boy’s defense to save him. Jeferson began to jog away, knowing he’d be the subject of retaliation. One opposing player appeared to attempt a flying kick at him, but Jeferson was able to evade it.
The ball boy – who looked to be in his late teens – was left with at least a bloody nose. He was attended to by a team staffer. Police in riot gear made their way onto the field in an attempt to calm things down.
The referee ultimately issued two red cards, and then blew the whistle for full time. Jeferson appeared to escape down into the stadium’s dressing room before he could be sent off. But surely he’ll receive much worse punishment. Surely he’ll never be allowed to play in the league – or any higher Brazilian division – again. That was as ugly as it gets.
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