It is with great sadness that the IHF handball family has learned of the extremely sad news of the passing of Brazilian IHF referee Thiago Marques Da Silva, who has died at the age of 34.
Da Silva, who refereed with partner Daniel Magalhães, had earned his IHF badge in Tbilisi, Georgia, in June 2019 after passing the IHF’s Global Referee Training Programme (GRTP) at the 3rd IHF Men’s Emerging Nations Championship.
“He loved being a referee and we loved being referees together, but I have not lost my referee partner, I have lost a brother and friend,” said Magalhães to IHF.info. “It is difficult to find a whistling partner with so much humility and joy in what he does and who worked so hard to achieve his dream of becoming one of the best referees in the world.
“It is very difficult for us all to manage this situation, but in the past few days I have realised how much he was loved by so many friends of handball – I have received so many messages from across the world,” he added.
“I can’t help talking about his parents Ivone Marques and Luis Cláudio da Silva, who were so proud of him and seeing him travel the world as a referee. They told me they were so grateful that I helped provide this for Thiago, their youngest son – it broke my heart. I lost a brother, but handball wins another guardian angel.”
Da Silva had gained continental, South and Central American Handball Confederation (SCAHC) status in October 2018 at the 1st IHF South and Central American Emerging Nations Men’s Championship in Palmira, Colombia.
The Sao Paulo native was buried in his home city on Sunday morning wearing his IHF referee shirt, with his family adding his IHF whistle and referee cards together with him.
“All IHF referees worldwide are in shock,” said Ramon Gallego, Chairman – IHF Playing Rules and Referees Commission (PRC) to IHF.info. “Thiago was one of the new generation of IHF referees; very ready in terms of all technical, physical and mental aspects, and whose dream was to whistle one day in future top IHF competitions.
“The family saw it as a huge honour he was buried in his shirt, and with the IHF whistle and cards I presented to him when he received the IHF badge. My thoughts are with all his family and friends. Rest in peace Thiago.”