- A referee calls a foul and hands the player a harsh penalty
- The player shuns it, and a fight ensues
- The referee pulls a knife and stabs the player to death
- The player's family kills the referee and cuts his body into pieces
The argument started over a red card.
It escalated when the referee fatally stabbed the player.
It ended when the player's enraged family members stoned the referee to death and dismembered his body.
Even for soccer, where violent outbreaks are all-too-common, what happened last week in a northern Brazil village was extraordinary.
Referee Jordan Silva called a foul during a soccer match. He showed player Josenir Santo Abreu a red card, the highest penalty, which translates into expulsion from the game.
Abreu, 30, wasn't going to take it, police said, and confronted the referee, who was 10 years younger.
The altercation grew ugly. Silva pulled a knife, and plunged it into Abreu's chest, Maranhao state police said in a statement.
While the player was rushed to a hospital, members of his family nabbed the referee and tied him up with the help of fans, CNN affiliate Band News reported. And they tortured him.
The player didn't make it to the hospital alive, police said. When the news reached his family back at the soccer field, the mob took retribution on Silva.
They stoned him to death.
And they cut his body into pieces.
Police later identified the suspects, easily.
They could be seen clearly in video images of the gory incident recorded with a cell phone.