Former Barcelona and Brazil midfielder Fabio Rochemback was taken into custody at the weekend for allegedly participating in an illegal cockfight, police have confirmed.

The 35-year-old was arrested along with more than 100 others in Palmeiras das Missoes, Rio Grande do Sul, in an operation headed by civil and military police.

More than 100,000 reais in cash (roughly €27,000) and 89 fighting cocks were also confiscated in the operation, along with promotional materials for fights, marijuana and a rifle.

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In 2011 the player, who ended his playing career in China four years ago, was the subject of a police raid on his property that discovered a number of cocks bred for fighting.

Under Brazilian law cockfighting is classified as an environmental crime, an offence that is punishable by one to three years in prison, although fines and community service are a more common outcome.