CBF’s Rodrigues condemns ‘brutal rape crimes’ of Alves and Robinho

March 25 – The Confederation of Brazilian Football (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues has expressed his solidarity with the victims of what he called “the brutal rape crimes” in the cases of Daniel Alves and Robinho, calling the convictions the end of “one of the most nefarious chapters” in Brazilian football. 

“The yellow shirt that Brazilian athletes wear on the pitch is much more than a jersey,” said Rodrigues in a statement late on Friday.

“Just like football to Brazil is more than a sport. Those who wear it need to defend the feelings and values of the whole country they represent. It is embarrassing that an athlete feels comfortable to commit such perversity as if all he achieved through sport will stop him from being punished.”

Earlier this year, Alves was convicted of raping a woman in a nightclub in December 2022 and sentenced to four years, six months in prison. The former Brazil player has always maintained his innocence and last week he was released on bail. Spanish prosecutors have demanded that the court reconsiders the decision.

Last Thursday, Robinho was jailed after a Brazilian court authorized his nine-year jail sentence from a trial in Italy to be served in the country.

The CBF boss has promised that his organisation will take action in the future. He said:

“It’s no use having a pamphlet of renunciation. We need to take action and educate through talks and the creation of working groups within the CBF.”

It was the message the CBF had been feeding journalists in the lead-up to Brazil’s 1-0 friendly victory against England at Wembley on Saturday after Leila Peirera, the head of the Brazilian delegation in London, had slammed Alves’s release on bail as “a slap in the face of women”.

Brazil captain Danilo called at a news conference called for greater awareness of the problem that he considers widespread in society: “I understand that in my position, as a player who has been with the national team for the longest time, playing the role I play, it is important that I speak. I think, yes, that it is important to raise awareness within the Brazilian team, in the youth categories, but I would also like to express that this doesn’t only happen in football, it is a reflection of society, mirrored in football.

“As high-level athletes, we have to understand the place we have – our role – and understand that our actions have greater power to influence positively and negatively. It’s time to better understand that our role is to play football, represent the clubs and the Brazilian national team, but also serve as an example of behaviour and ways of dealing off the field for young people.”

“We have to understand that we have mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, and girlfriends and that these women go through ordeals and thoughts that we, as men, do not go through. Talking to someone the other day, she told me: ‘If there’s a truck parked on the street, I don’t go behind it because I’m afraid there’s someone there who’s going to hurt me.’ We, as men, don’t have that kind of fear.”

New manager Dorival Junior also commented on the cases, saying that “Robinho was a fantastic person” but that he mostly felt for the victims.

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