Boa Esporte, a Brazilian second division team, have signed goalkeeper Bruno Fernandes de Souza following his release from prison for the murder of his girlfriend and the subsequent feeding of her body to his dogs.
As reported by Jonathan Watts of the Guardian, Bruno was released from jail last month having served seven years of what was initially a 22-year sentence for assault, torture and murder. The 32-year-old has since agreed a two-year contract with his new club.
Per Watts, the decision to recruit the convicted murderer has been met with anger in Brazil. The family of the victim, Eliza Samudio, and groups protesting violence against women are said to have expressed their outrage.
In addition, it’s noted that three sponsors of Boa Esporte—CardioCenter, Nutrends Nutrition and Magsul—have ended their partnerships with the club, while the team’s official website has also been hacked.
However, Watts noted there has been some positive reaction to the deal. "Fans posed for selfies with the goalkeeper, and most online comments were positive," he noted. Boa Esporte's president said in a statement the club was helping the goalkeeper’s rehabilitation by giving him a deal.
As noted in the report, Samudio disappeared in 2010 having sued Bruno over support for their child; the goalkeeper was said to be close to moving to AC Milan at the time and was concerned the suit could hinder a transfer.
"The court heard how he conspired with friends who tortured and strangled the model, then disposed of the body by feeding it to the footballer's Rottweilers," noted Watts. Bruno has admitted his role in the plot.
Having been charged in July 2010, Bruno was eventually sentenced to the 22-year term in March 2013. He was released from his imprisonment in February having secured a habeas corpus.
Bruno was a highly rated goalkeeper before his arrest in 2010, captaining Brazilian giants Flamengo at the time.
The plight of women in Brazil has been highlighted by some football clubs recently. As noted by the Guardian, top-flight side Cruzeiro wore customised shirts during a Brazilian Cup match this month that included messages such as "a rape every 11 minutes" and "salaries 30 per cent lower" in an attempt to raise awareness.