Reffing soccer games in Brazil, even amateur games played by a bunch of CPAs, is serious business. Remember a couple years ago when a referee was dismembered by a riotous group of fans after he stabbed a player? It happened!
So, to be surprised that Brazilian ref Gabriel Murta had a gun in his locker during an amateur match over the weekend is to misunderstand just how life and death Brazilian soccer can be. That said, it’s still pretty bananas that he brought that gun on the pitch. At least it seems that way from here, a country where two high school football players hitting a ref was a national story. But maybe this guy really felt like his life was in danger. Before brandishing the weapon, which he had because he's a cop, Murta was kicked and slapped by players demanding a red card for the other team. You know what comes after kicking and slapping? That's right, dismemberment.
If the whole gun thing sounds crazy, consider the reaction by the organizing body of the league. They didn't even fire the guy! According to reports, Murta will “undergo a psychological assessment on Tuesday and could face suspension or a permanent ban." So maybe he's done for, maybe not. But either way he's got at least one thing going for him: He's now joins an exclusive club of on-field gun-toting refs. The only other member is Ed Hochuli.