Skip to main content

Watch: Soccer Coach Fired After Headbutting Female Referee

A general view of a soccer net.

(Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

A contentious soccer match in Brazil yesterday took a wild and violent turn when a manager headbutted a female referee. The manager has since been fired.

At halftime of yesterday's game between Desportiva Ferroviaria and Nova Venecia, Desportiva manager Rafael Soriano stormed onto the field to protest referee Arthur Gomes Rabelo blowing the whistle too early for his liking. Assistant referee Marcielly Netto - a head shorter than Soriano - attempted to separate him from Rabelo.

Soriano then turned to Netto and smashed his forehead into her mouth. He was immediately sent off and was terminated shortly afterwards.

Desportiva Ferroviaria went on to lose the game 3-1. Afterwards, the club released a statement on the incident, sympathizing with Netto and pledging support however they can.

According to Euro 24, Rafael Soriano has a different view on what transpired there. He reportedly denied committing an assault, called what happened "an accident" and accused Marcielly Netto of trying to take advantage of the situation because she is a woman.

The Espirito Santo State Football Federation, which oversees Soriano's now-former club, has pledged to investigate the incident and hand down sanctions appropriately.

Soccer clubs in Brazil and fans around the world have collectively come out to condemn Soriano for his actions. Many are calling for FIFA to ban him from soccer for life.

What do you think the punishment for Soriano should be?