Death threats off the pitch, violence against officials on it; has Brazilian football lost control?

Brazil eye

By Samindra Kunti

April 26 – Stressing the urgency of the situation, Corinthians president Duilio Monteiro Alves has said violence in Brazilian football is getting out of control. 

“Every day we have some kind of aggression on the field or outside with athletes, rocks on buses, it’s a business that is getting out of control,” said Alves after his club refrained from talking to the press and posting on social media for a number of days in protest against the violence.

In recent weeks, Brazilian football has been plagued by numerous incidents.

In the Espirito Santo state championship, Ferroviaria coach Rafael Soriano was outraged by the officiating and head-butted female assistant Marcielly Netto in a shocking display of aggression. Ferroviaria sacked their coach.

Days earlier, Corinthians goalkeeper Cassio made a formal complaint about death threats his family and he had received on social media.

Alves said that the media blackout was “to draw attention to everything we experience today and, in my point of view and that of the people at the club, it’s crossing the line with hate speech and fake news. Corinthians felt obliged to do something. Because we want to get attention, because it’s urgent, we’ve been hearing for years that someone has to do something.’’

In February, Bahia goalkeeper Danilo Fernandes was injured when angry fans attacked the team bus and threw a snooker ball full of gunpowder into the vehicle. The keeper escaped with leg injuries and cuts near his eye.

“I just hope,” said Fernandes in an interview with TV Bahia, “that someone doesn’t have to die before something is done.”

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