We knew there was an Arsenal over in Brazil, we just didn’t know it belonged to the ref.
In news that makes you feel slightly better about that overzealous official down at Power League, one Brazilian ref is now facing a lengthy ban after reacting to a scuffle with players by whipping out a gun. A GUN.
Having being attacked with punches and kicks by one of the players from lower league team Amantes de Bola who wanted opponent sent off during a regional league match, officiator Gabriel Murta bolted for the safety of the dressing room. The sensible decision.
Well, it was - right before he ran back out onto the pitch brandishing an actual handgun, causing the previously incensed player to flee the scene faster than Theo Walcott on performance-enhancing drugs.
Fortunately for everyone involved, however, Murta was quickly held back by his linesmen and one of the goalkeepers (why are goalies always such good peacemakers?) and persuaded to return to the dressing rooms and put the gun back in his locker.
Filmed by disbelieving spectators in Brumadinho near Brazil’s sixth largest city of Belo Horizonte, the Referees’ association boss Giuliano Lozano later wrote it off as a legitimate action as the official feared for his life and was merely defending himself.
We’ll see. Murta, a policeman by day, could face a lengthy suspension or even a straight ban after his impending psychological assessment.
Though if he does come back to action, we can’t imagine hearing too many remonstrations in his next game.