Soccer: the real man’s game

So much for the notion of soccer being a game for wimps, or for anyone with a weak stomach. And some people wonder why I’m a bit skeptical about the prospects for USA 3.0:

A soccer referee in Brazil was gruesomely quartered and beheaded after he fatally stabbed a player on the field during a match. The match took place June 30 at Pius XII stadium in Maranhao, northeastern Brazil.

According to Correio24horas, 30-year-old player Josenir dos Santos Abreu approached the 20-year-old referee, Octavio da Silva Catanhede Jordan, to argue a call.The two couldn’t come to terms so Catanhede Jordan told the player to leave the field.  Santos Abreu refused and the argument turned heated when the referee allegedly pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed Santos Abreu multiple times.

The player died en route to the hospital. Fans outraged by the stabbing – believed to be the player’s friends and family – stormed the pitch and cornered Catanhede Jordan. The mob showed no mercy as they quartered and decapitated the referee and then placed his head on a stake.

Now, I’m not going to claim that I’ve never felt that a referee deserved to be flogged, or in a few cases, institutionalized, but I do think decapitation is, perhaps, a little excessive.  On the other hand, it must be admitted that multiple stabbings are not the most reasonable substitute for a red card.