I’m a referee who wears an ankle tag after committing robbery while on cocaine, now I’m turning my life around

6 months ago 54

REFEREE Rhamon Da Silva is managing to turn his life around after being jailed for the best part of two years.

The Brazilian now officiates games with an ankle tag and has big hopes for his future in football.

 Photo by Ney Douglas/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (14203059a) Rhamon da Silva Bandeira poses for EFE with his referee uniform and his electronic ankle tag, in Natal, Brazil, 25 October 2023 (issued 26 October 2023). Rhamon da Silva Bandeira spent some 19 months in prison after a court found him guilty of armed robbery and was released on parole in December 2023. In order to reintegrate into civili society, Rhamon pursues a career as a nursing technician and resumed to be a referee in amateur matches, where he has to wear the electronic ankle bracelet that monitors whether he is violating his curfew. Rhamon Bandeira, the Brazilian referee who whistles with an ankle tag, Natal, Brazil - 25 Oct 2023Rhamon Da Silva has turned his life around after two years in jail and has managed to continue his refereeing career
 Photo by Ney Douglas/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (14203059b) Rhamon da Silva Bandeira poses for EFE with his referee uniform and his electronic ankle tag, in Natal, Brazil, 25 October 2023 (issued 26 October 2023). Rhamon da Silva Bandeira spent some 19 months in prison after a court found him guilty of armed robbery and was released on parole in December 2023. In order to reintegrate into civili society, Rhamon pursues a career as a nursing technician and resumed to be a referee in amateur matches, where he has to wear the electronic ankle bracelet that monitors whether he is violating his curfew. Rhamon Bandeira, the Brazilian referee who whistles with an ankle tag, Natal, Brazil - 25 Oct 2023He now has to wear an ankle tag on the pitch

Referees are often sticklers for the rules and you wouldn’t expect them to veer on to the wrong side of the law.

But back in 2021 Rhamon was sent to jail after he mixed with the wrong crowds and found himself struggling with a cocaine problem.

Speaking to Globoesporte the 29-year-old, of Natal, revealed that the unexpected path led him to commit robbery.

He said: “Unfortunately, I got involved with the wrong people. I had never done that in my life and it happened to me.

“I ended up immersing myself in cocaine and that led me to carry out this robbery.

“I was detained, I spent a year, six months, 28 days and 30 minutes in prison. On October 30th, I will have been out for five months.”

Rhamon is now on parole and has to wear an ankle tag that prevents him from leaving his home city.

But it’s not stopped him from getting back out on the football pitch and refereeing games like he did before he was locked up.

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“At first I was afraid, afraid of wearing an anklet, because many people criticise, they think that there are no changes in people,” he explained.

“And I am a totally opposite example that there is change, yes. At first it was very difficult to carry, but today I am very calm, I take it as a joke, I take it calmly.”

Although he is currently unable to referee federated matches he is taking charge of night time fixtures in the Natal Fan League until 2024 when he will be able to return to his previous role.

But his ambitions go way beyond the Brazilian lower leagues with Rhamon hoping to achieve big things in the officiating world going forward.

He said: “I look forward, in the future, to being in the position of Fifa referee, whether as a linesman or main, whistling matches all over the world. And I dream of a World Cup.”

Rhamon is focused on his dream of refereeing the biggest games on the biggest stage, but is also working towards his other passion of nursing at the Basic Health Unit in his local community.

 Photo by Ney Douglas/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (14203059c) Rhamon da Silva Bandeira poses for EFE with his referee uniform and his electronic ankle tag, in Natal, Brazil, 25 October 2023 (issued 26 October 2023). Rhamon da Silva Bandeira spent some 19 months in prison after a court found him guilty of armed robbery and was released on parole in December 2023. In order to reintegrate into civili society, Rhamon pursues a career as a nursing technician and resumed to be a referee in amateur matches, where he has to wear the electronic ankle bracelet that monitors whether he is violating his curfew. Rhamon Bandeira, the Brazilian referee who whistles with an ankle tag, Natal, Brazil - 25 Oct 2023Rhamon got involved with the wrong people and ended up carrying out a robbery while addicted to cocaine
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