Club pres­i­dent de­fends sign­ing con­victed killer

New Straits Times - - Sport -

VARGINHA: The pres­i­dent of a Brazil­ian foot­ball club that signed a goal­keeper who was jailed for mur­der­ing his ex-girl­friend called the de­ci­sion ‘coura­geous’ on Tues­day, although the player could be sent back to jail at any time.

Third di­vi­sion cham­pi­ons Boa Es­porte drew wide­spread de­ri­sion with the sign­ing of Bruno Fer­nan­des, a for­mer top-flight keeper who was re­leased from jail last month.

He served seven years of a 22year jail sen­tence for mur­der­ing his ex-girl­friend, who was the mother of his son, and feed­ing her body to dogs.

Sev­eral of the club’s spon­sors, in­clud­ing their kit maker, aban­doned Boa Es­porte within days of the deal, and fans have flooded so­cial me­dia with crit­i­cism.

But club pres­i­dent Rene Mo­raes told re­porters on Tues­day that Boa Es­porte, set to play in the sec­ond di­vi­sion this year, were jus­ti­fied in giv­ing the keeper a sec­ond chance, although he was out of jail on ap­peal and could go back at any mo­ment.

“You have to show peo­ple that what Bruno did wasn’t cor­rect, but that he has the right to re­turn to society,” Mo­raes told a news con­fer­ence in the club’s home town of Varginha, about 315 km north­east of Sao Paulo.

“He needs to do some­thing (and) that is foot­ball.

“I am some­one who likes a chal­lenge,” Mo­raes added. “Boa is not do­ing any­thing wrong, Boa is not a court of jus­tice, Boa is an en­tity in the world of sports. And Bruno knows how to play foot­ball.”

Bruno also ap­peared be­fore the me­dia but he de­clined to an­swer ques­tions that were not di­rectly about play­ing.

The 32-year old, who won the first di­vi­sion with Fla­mengo in 2009, said he had the back­ing of God and his fam­ily.

“I am very happy to have been given this op­por­tu­nity,” he said. “I don’t care what peo­ple say. What mat­ters to me is that I am start­ing again. It’s a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity.” Reuters

You have to show peo­ple that what Bruno did wasn’t cor­rect, but that he has the right to re­turn to society.

RENE MO­RAES

Pres­i­dent of Boa Es­porte

Bruno Fer­nan­des

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