Referee receives support after pulling gun out on the pitch

A referee's association believes the official acted in self-defence

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The Independent Online

The referee who pulled out a gun during the middle of an amateur match has been offered the support of his referees' association.

Gabriel Murta brandished the firearm after reportedly being kicked and slapped by Amantes de Bola players during their match with Brumadinho.

Murta, who works as an armed police officer, was captured on camera with gun by a spectator.

The boss of the Federação Mineira de Futebol's referee association Giuliano Bozzano said: “He acted in self-defense. Everyone knows the difficulty of amateur championships. 

"The referees have already been through difficult situations. We have had several cases of referees being assaulted and even shot.”

Murta himself has also spoke, clarifying his version of events.

"I took a slap in the face and a kick in the shin," he said. "I was pressured by several players and sought the gun in the locker room to arrest the [offending] player. But he ran, jumped the fence and ran away.

"I just wanted to defend myself and take action as a police officer. I was beaten as a citizen, he committed a crime."

Murta was restrained by his assistant referee and led back into the tunnel before the situation could escalate.

According to Brazilian news outlet Globo, he will now be offered psychological help by the association after they found that he had not acted "disproportionately" in these circumstances.

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