Brasilia - A referee was lynched and decapitated by a mob in northeastern Brazil after he fatally stabbed a player who refused to leave the pitch during an amateur soccer game, according to local press reports.
The gruesome killings occurred in the town of Pio XII in Maranhao state on June 30 but details of the case only emerged last week.
Local police said the referee, 20-year-old Otavio Jordao da Silva, got into a fist fight with 31-year-old player Josenir dos Santos Abreu, who had refused to comply with an order to leave the pitch.
During the fight, the referee stabbed the player, who subsequently died on the way to hospital, the reports said.
In retaliation, three people stoned the referee to death before dismembering his body.
Local police said a 27-year-old man confessed taking part in the assault although he denied delivering the fatal blows.
Two other suspects are still being sought.