Flamengo shuts victims’ families out of remembrance events

February 10 – On Saturday, on the first anniversary of the fatal fire at Flamengo’s training complex that killed 10 youth players, the Rio club excluded families of the victims from participating in remembrance events. Flamengo fans today will protest at the club’s headquarter to express their disapproval. 

The club held a mass at Rio de Janeiro’s São Judas Tadeu church, but did not invite the families of the 10 players burned to death . Nor were the relatives of the victims invited to attend Flamengo’s match against Madureira on the same day at the Maracana Stadium in the local state championship.

To compound matters, the families, with the exception of Pablo Henrique’s relatives, whose lawyer had submitted a request previously, were barred from entering the training complex to light a candle in memory of their sons.

In a reaction to a local Youtube video, Flamengo president Rodolfo Landim asked why the families had shown up without making an appointment, arguing  that Flamengo had communicated free access to the training complex for the families in the late afternoon.

The first anniversary received widespread coverage by Brazil’s major news outlets, but it didn’t deter Flamengo from maintaining a posture that has often been viewed as excessively cruel and corporate. In a personal capacity, team captain Diego did visit Pablo Henrique’s parents.

On Friday, former Flamengo president Eduardo Bandeira de Mello was the only club representative, alongside CEO Reinaldo Belotti, to testify at a parliamentary committee of inquiry in Rio de Janeiro. Flamengo president Landim, vice president Rodrigo Dunshee and former vice president Alexandre Wrobel refused to appear. A bench warrant has been issued.

The families are locked in a legal dispute with the club over compensation, but also over why the fire happened and why there were inadequate safety procedures at their training complex accommodation.

The youth players had been housed in a row of six conjoined steel modular units, sharing a single exit, one of the many grave shortcomings of the makeshift dormitory, along with the absence of a caretaker, a federal requirement, and the grated windows.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1600981897labto1600981897ofdlr1600981897owedi1600981897sni@t1600981897catno1600981897c1600981897