Brazil’s efforts to show it is a safe place for tourists before hosting next year’s World Cup has recently suffered a major setback.
Just over a week ago a 20-year-old amateur referee fatally stabbed a player when the latter refused to leave the pitch after being shown a red card.
A mob then turned on 20-year-old referee Octavio da Silva, killing him on the pitch before severing his head.
The shocking incident in the far north of the country happened on the same day Brazil’s national team brushed aside World and European champions Spain 3-0 to win the Confederations Cup, considered a test run for next year’s much bigger championship.
So far one suspect has been arrested. According to local police, 27-year-old Luis Moraes de Sousa was detained on July 2.
Police also said they were searching for two more people they believe to be involved in the killing.
It is a major blow for the country who have made significant progress in lowering murder rates ahead of hosting the masses for next year’s World Cup.