A Portuguese footballer has been banned for over four years for kneeing a referee in the face, it was confirmed on Tuesday.
Canelas striker Marco Goncalves, 34, broke referee Jose Rodrigues’ nose last month after he was shown a red card for punching an opposition player in the face, with images and video of the assault going viral on social media.
Police escorted Goncalves off the pitch against Rio Tinto and he was later arrested and told he would have to face trial. Goncalves was also sacked by the club.
Watch incident here:
“Marco Goncalves has been given a four years suspension for assaulting a referee, two months for insults and threats and three months for assaulting an opposition player,” a spokesman for the Porto regional league told AFP.
Canelas football club resides in the suburbs of Porto, with its team having previously been branded “thugs” and “butchers”.
The club have risen to the top of their amateur league after a string of default wins because opponents are too afraid to play them.
Their rivals prefer to pay a 750 euro fine rather than risk their lives playing against the club.
Goncalves even joked last month about the club’s bad reputation, commenting: “This is the corridor of death for our adversaries,” he said pointing to the dark tunnel that leads to Canelas’ pitch.
The club field three members of the ‘Super Dragons’ ultras, an infamous fan group of Portuguese giants FC Porto, including their team captain who goes by the nickname ‘Ape’.
Other clubs in the fourth-tier amateur league are outraged at the tactics of the club but none have as yet filed an official complaint.