For our next story, we go south, south, south of the border to a futebol match in Brumadinho, in the Brazilian state of Minais Gerais, where a regional league match was in progress. A referee named Gabriel Murta had a rough time dealing with some unruly players from the Amantes de Bola team. During a dispute over a red card that wasn’t called, Murta was kicked and slapped and quickly retreated to the locker room. This time out was the last act of good judgment he displayed that day . . .
Murta – whom the UK’s Mirror reports as being a “policeman by day” – had apparently decided that he was just getting started. He retrieved a pistol and charged back out to the field to…well, that’s not really clear. Enforce the rules the only way he knows?
Fortunately, another linesman restrained the hot-tempered official and escorted him off the field, allowing peace to finally reign once again. Or what passes for for it in the world of rural South American soccer. So indefensible, right? Not as far as the local officials’ association sees it, according to The Mirror:
Referees’ association boss Giuliano Bozzano said the official felt threatened and went to look for the weapon to defend himself.
The league, however, is treating the blandishment with the seriousness you’d expect.
He was due to undergo a psychological assessment later today and could face suspension or a permanent ban….
Mr Bozzano said: “The Minais Gerais Football Federation has already summonsed 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 decide what if any measures to take.
“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.”
Yes, hmm. “Controlling the situation.” Or dangerously escalating it. The news accounts don’t relate what else was going on here — perhaps the Amantes de Bola players were about to go on a rampage through the stands. Perhaps he was genuinely concerned about the safety of everyone present. Or perhaps his ego was bruised worse than his body.
In any event, while Senhor Murta awaits the results of his psych eval, he will be able to enjoy his shiny, well-earned Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day award, sent at great trouble and expense via Air Mail.
DISCLAIMER: The above is an opinion piece; it is not legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship in any sense. If you need legal advice in any matter, you are strongly urged to hire and consult your own counsel. This post is entirely my own, and does not represent the positions, opinions, or strategies of my firm or clients.