Brazilian club Boa Esporte has lost a number of sponsors over its decision to sign recently released ex-convict, Bruno Fernandes.
Both Boa Esporte’s main sponsor, Gois and Silva Group, and kit maker Kanxa have all parted ways with the club since the decision was announced.
Bruno Fernandes had been sentenced to prison for 22 years for the murder of girlfriend, Eliza Samudio. He was however released after just 4 years over a legal technicality.
Bruno allegedly tortured and beat Samudio, before strangling her, chopping her into pieces and feeding her body to a pack of rottweilers.
Bruno had reportedly killed Eliza because he didn’t want to pay child support fees.
Before the scandal, Bruno was one of the most valuable players in Brazilian football. He was captain of top Brazilian side Flamengo, and was reportedly going to be number 1 for the Selecao at the 2014 World Cup.
“He was found guilty, he served his time and he was released by the courts. He deserves another opportunity,” Boa Esporte owner Rafael Gois Silva Xavier said.
“You have to show people that what Bruno did wasn’t correct, but that he has the right to return to society,” Moraes told reporters in the club’s home town of Varginha.
“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.”
A massive outcry has followed his release, but Bruno himself believes there’s nothing that further punishment can do.
He said following his release: “I want to make it clear that even if I stayed here and was given life imprisonment, for example, in Brazil, it would not bring the victim back.
“I paid dearly, it was not easy. This will help me as an experience. It has been a learning experience, not a punishment.”