Referees have a tough job, and are often the target of much ire. But is it tough enough to justify packing heat—and brandishing that heat—during an actual game? If you are Brazilian referee Camilo Eustáquio de Souza the answer to that is "yes." He was allegedly punched during an amateur match and felt like he needed his weapon, so he up and got it.
De Souza, who is a police officer in his work life and a soccer official at other times, went for both his gun and his handcuffs in a perhaps misguided attempt to control a rowdy on-field situation, as seen in the video below:
According to the Mirror, de Souza was allegedly punched by a player, named Marcos Lopes Vieira, after he awarded a penalty to the other team. De Souza then went to his bag, and when Vieira saw that the ref was getting more than a red card out of it, he fled to hide in the locker room. The Mirror has photos of de Souza sporting a black eye from the punch.
(Note: this is not the first time we've seen a gun-toting Brazilian referee.)
The Mirror has a quote from de Souza himself:
"My actions were not an exaggeration; the exaggeration was down to the behavior of the player. I was in charge of the game and to bring things under control I made the decision to act in my capacity as a police officer and arrest a citizen who assaulted me....
"I took the handcuffs so everyone could see that I wasn't going to use aggression but I was going to take him into custody."
Seems like Mr. Off-Duty Cop/Referee is trying to have his nonviolence cake and eat it too. Vieira will appear before the league board and could face assault charges and suspension from the game. According to the league president, de Souza could be looking at a two-year suspension.