Police search for referee after player knifed to death

RIO DE JANEIRO - Police in northeastern Brazil are searching for a referee after a player was stabbed to death during an amateur match in Barreira in Ceara state.

A spokesman for the Ceara military police said referee Francisco Chaves had killed 35-year-old Jose da Silva and injured his brother Francisco in a fight, after whistling for a foul against the visiting Boa-Fe (good faith) team from Redencao (redemption), and then fled the scene.

Major Marcos Paulo said Francisco da Silva kicked the referee after he blew up for the foul near the Boa-Fe penalty area, sparking the fight, and Jose da Silva went to his brother's aid only to be stabbed in the chest and killed.

"Because it was an amateur game, there was no policing so the referee fled after the crime," Paulo said.

"We've already made some searches for him and received information that he might hand himself in today but for now he's a fugitive."

Francisco da Silva was in hospital with knife wounds in his ribs.

Local media said the dead man, Jose da Silva, was a security guard in Redencao.

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