Used, as any referee, to listening to provocations and curses from fans, former FIFA referee Marcelo de Lima Henrique (Brazil) did not swallow the offenses of the former chairman of the Pernambuco Referees Committee, Salmo Valentim, and the current mayor of Belo Horizonte, Alexandre Kalil, former president of Atletico-MG. The referee filed actions of moral damages against the pair, asking for $25,000 in each of them.
The issues with Salmo began in February 2017, when Marcelo left the Pernambuco Federation, to which he was affiliated since 2014, to return to Rio de Janeiro. The then president of the referees committee of Pernambuco raised suspicions against the referee in an interview with Blog Extracampo, among other publications. At that time, Salmo stated that he would ask CBF that Marcelo did not referee any more games involving Nautical, Santa Cruz and Sport in national competitions. "We do not know what he can do against the clubs in Pernambuco", he said. The problem with Kalil comes from 2015, when the current mayor of the mining capital was still a leader of Atletico-MG. “I awarded a penalty kick against Atletico-MG in a game against Atletico-PR and I sent off Marco Rocha. Kalil cursed me as a hobo and thief on Twitter”, remembers Marcelo, still hurt, “in 23 years of football, I had never been cursed by public people. To this day, I still receive threats when I referee an Atletico game”. The lawsuits are filed in the Special Criminal Court of Itaboraí. As the accused did not attend the hearing, Marcelo's lawyer asked for the case to be tried in absentia. This may happen next week. "It is now in the hands of the Justice", says Marcelo de Lima Henrique.