April 27 – Cuca has left Corinthians as head coach following fan protests over his involvement in a rape case in the ‘80s.
Amid fan outrage, Cuca lasted just a week and two matches at the Sao Paulo giants. On Thursday, the club announced Cuca had departed, citing a request from his family “to resolve private matters.”
On April 20, Cuca was hired to take over at Corinthians, but his appointment was met with anger by the supporters. In 1987, the 59-year-old was convicted by a Swiss court to 15 months’ imprisonment for engaging in a sexual act with a minor two years earlier while playing for Gremio. Cuca however never served the sentence as Brazil does not extradite its citizens.
“I am sorry and upset that Cuca is leaving today,” said Corinthians president Duilio Monteiro Alves.
“We can only regret his departure… I think he is and would be a professional who could help us a lot with his experience, his trajectory, his curriculum. We even talked about him staying, but unfortunately, he thought it was better to leave to resolve this situation and one day be able to return with peace of mind to be able to work at Corinthians.”
However, pressure had been mounting on Cuca. Members of the Corinthians women’s team, including coach Arthur Elias, issued a joint statement on their social media on Sunday with the slogan ‘Respect women’.
In an interview with Brazilian news outlet UOL, the victim’s lawyer Willi Egloff said that Cuca was lying: “Alexi Stival’s (Cuca) statement is false. The girl recognized him as one of the rapists.”
The defense lawyer then affirmed that after studies carried out, the defendant’s semen was found in the victim: “‘It is true that Alexi Stival’s semen was found in the girl’s body.”
A statement on Wednesday issued by Cuca’s representatives read: “He [Cuca] refutes the accusations attributed to him, which date back to more than 30 years and which were investigated at the time. The coach continues to carry out his work with honesty … and for this reason, he will not tolerate insults or offenses against his suitability, character and integrity.”
A nomadic coach, Cuca has trained Santos, Sao Paulo, Atletico Mineiro and Palmeiras.
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