Should a Killer be Allowed Back into Football?

The story of Bruno Fernandes de Souza, the
former Flamengo goalkeeper, is well known in Brazil. The man once tipped to be between the sticks
on home soil for Brazil at the 2014 World Cup and the dar-ling of the biggest fan base
in the country has since swapped the pitch for prison. He was convicted of murdering his former lover
and mother of his son Bruninho, and sentenced to a 22-year jail sentence for his part in
her disappearance and death. The body of Eliza Samudio has never been found. Now, following two failed attempts, the former
no. 1 is making another try at a career in the
game. The issue has generated fierce debate in Brazil:
should someone convicted of a crime of such brutality be allowed to walk back to a position
which could see them become an idol to young children across the country? Bruno’s name used to ring round the terraces
of the Maracanã, for the biggest club in the most iconic stadium in the country. Alongside Adriano, the former Inter Milan
and Brazil striker, he was an integral part of the 2009 Brazilian league title win, which
catapulted him to prominence and prompted familiar questions. When would he play for the national side and
which major European side would sign him? He wasn’t just the goalkeeper. He was the captain. The idol. The hero. But a short-lived romance with model Eliza
Samudio ultimately derailed a promising career. For Sam-udio, it would be fatal. She fell pregnant during their brief affair,
much to the anger of the football player, who had two young daughters with then-wife
Dayanne. Alongside best friend Macarrão, in October
2009, Bruno assaulted his former lover, taking her back to his apartment where she was forced
to take abortion pills and what Samudio later described as “a bitter liquid”. The attempt at a forced abortion failed, and
Bruno’s third child was born in early 2010. Eliza’s efforts to force Bruno to recognise
the paternity and assume his financial responsibilities set an evil plan in motion. In late May 2010, while the Brazilian league
was on hiatus for that year’s World Cup in South Africa, Bruno had Samudio taken to
his farm in the city of Esmeraldas, Minas Gerais, along with her four-month old son,
Bruninho. She would stay there until 4 June. On that evening, Eliza was driven by Macarrao
to Rua Araruama, in the Belo Horizonte neighbourhood of Santa Clara, supposedly to a flat she was
to be given by the goalkeeper. Once there, she was tied up and strangled
by professional hitman Marcos Aparecido dos Santos, known as “Bola”. In 2013, the athlete was convicted for his
part in the death of his son’s mother. Yet in 2020, just seven years later, a concrete
offer is on the table for the stopper to resume his football career. Bruno has been serving a semi-open home programme
since July 2019, which grants him the right to work during the day, but at night he must
be at his registered residence by 8.00pm until 6.00am. In addition, he is to make a monthly court
appearance to justify his activities. Operario de Varzea Grande ply their trade
in the first division of the Mato Grosso State Championship. The city of Varzea Grande is the second biggest
in the state and the club, founded in 1949, has won 12 regional titles throughout its
history. Over recent years, the side has been losing
ground to rising outfits Cuiaba and Luverdense. The signing of Bruno is seen as a way to help
the club return to the top of their state football pyramid. But unlike his salary at Flamengo, which was
counted in the hundreds of thousands of reais per month, the player is expected to be earning
between 4 and 6,000, typical of a club in the fourth tier. At least two other sides showed interest in
signing Bruno – Tupi, from the state of Minas Gerais, and Fluminense de Feira in Bahia. Like Operario, it was hoped the acquisition
of Bruno would bring the club much needed publicity. The athlete has made two previous attempts
to return to football. In 2017 and with Boa Esporte, images of Bruno
signing autographs for young children and fans caused a revolt among the club’s support. Brazil, it turned out, was not ready to forget
his role in the death of a young woman quite so quickly. From a legal perspective, Bruno is entitled
to return to work. The granting of that semi-open prison domestic
regime is aimed at social reintegration, with the played deemed to have served “a necessary
amount of time in a closed regime”. The change grants Bruno the right both to
procure a full-time job and reside at home with his second wife and youngest child. The idea being to give the offender the best
possible chance at rehabilitation. As Bruno has always worked as a footballer,
he has been given dispensation to pursue this path within the parameters established by
the Minas Gerais Supreme Court. For him to return between the posts, his new
club will need to present to the court a contract as well as their travel schedule for the upcoming
season. There is also no precedent in the Brazilian
Code of Sporting Justice for banning a player due to a previous criminal conviction. But there is – quite obviously – a moral
perspective at play. His crime was heinous. Is he a suitable role model for children? At Boa Esporte he played just five times before
the Supreme Federal Court ordered him back to prison. His second foray was even shorter – in October
2019 he lasted just 48 minutes with Poços de Caldas FC. The club does not participate in official
tournaments and as such could not present to the court a suitable work schedule for
the player. Now Bruno is making a third attempt to return
to the life that helped make his name, that turned him into the finest goalkeeper in Brazil’s
domestic league a decade ago.

49 thoughts on “Should a Killer be Allowed Back into Football?

  • If he did kill her, I don't see why he should be alive either, life for a life, if he is prepared to take someone's life, he is prepared to pay the ultimate price

  • Honestly, I don't know how he could even return. Murder is something that marks you for life, opponents will probably use it to get him off kilter, not too mention the supporters and the media flocking over his head.

    There certainly are jobs he could take, like being a Goalkeeper Coach but as a player, that sounds unlikely.

  • Convicted of such a bad crime… no
    If it was a 'minor crime' I would say yes however they must sit out 1 full season and be the clubs lowest paid professional and senior member if getting paid at all. Also not being able to play in the countrys top league (or top 2 in big 5 leagues)

  • How the hell is this scumbag out of jail? Sounds to me like favouritism. I support his right to get a job cleaning toilets.

  • While I believe in rehabilitation this is a hard no from even me. That it's even being considered shows the Brazilian justice system needs looking at

  • I've always said that if you're god level then we should just let them get away with it until at least they retire. I mean if Messi goes on a killing rampage it would suck but the bigger crime would be to miss out on what he offers on the pitch.

  • Yes, if they have served the sentence handed down to them, they show remorse and they have reformed (and they're not otherwise unsuitable for release – possessing coexisting mental health, or violence issues, for example). EVERYONE should be given a second chance. You can't be selective though – this crime is worthy, this crime isnt, this person can start over, this person cannot, etc. In my opinion.

    People that have been punished, who have reformed and are remorseful often become, by virtue of these things, great people. Well-rounded and balanced in character – through their experiences. This guy in the video though seems like he hasn't done much reforming. though. It's a difficult decision, in this case. I say no, as he doesn't meet those three conditions.

    Providing the subject is proven to be living by those three original conditions, then all have the right to start over.

    I'm not convinced de Souza meets the criteria above.

    – Brilliant video, as ever, in both content and delivery. Outstanding work. Check out Erwin James. 👍

  • For those wondering why the hell he is on a semi-home program so soon.
    Here in Brazil the prisoners usually just serve 1/3 of the sentence. We have some bizarre laws to "protect" those criminals. There's even ' holiday out' (when they can leave for the holidays and 'come back' after, but as you would expect, a lot of them never come back). There's one famous case about a woman sentenced for killing both parents and being released for the mother's and father's day…
    And yes, there were rumours of dumping Eliza's body to the dogs.
    And is MARCARÃO, not Marracão.

  • In one word, NO. If people in modern society have restrictions on where and what kind of work they can get after serious crime, why should footballers be excluded from that? Marcus Alonso is another example.

  • 1. Will Tifo do a video of sensible transfers come the summer of 2020?
    2. Does Tifo like Stefan Posch (Hoffenheim)?
    3. Will Tifo analyse the tactics of Marco Rose at Gladbach?
    4. Will Tifo do a video on how Expected goals and Xa work?

  • He should be forced to play up front for Man United with Lingard and Periera providing the service, however I suspect this would be "cruel and unusual punishment."

  • as someone whose boyfriend lost his mom at the hands of a man like Bruno and who lives in a country where 9 to 10 women are victims of femicide daily… no I wouldn't want a killer of women go back to playing professional football. Young kids in my opinion shouldn't be exposed to people like that.

  • But come to think of it, if he, a murderer becoming a hero, they can ask him to tell his fans of his grief and to not commit such crimes. Most of murder in brazil is druglord related and the ones that did the killing are mostly kids. Kids like those needs some real life hero who they can relate to.

  • Well prison is supposed to rehabilitate. Everyone should have a chance to earn money after they have paid their debt to society

  • I'm surprised by your outstanding spelling of brazilian portuguese names, such a good job!

    For the state to not allow Bruno back to work would be a double punishment, which is obviously unfair in face of our constitution since he is already serving time for this crime.

    The ethic and moral aspects of this situation are not of concern to the state of Brazil, as doubling down on his sentence by not allowing a comeback via legal measures is also breaking his constitutional rights, which opens a terrible pathway for the justice system.

    This debate should be held between clubs and pundits, it is their moral compass that should dictate Bruno's future. He must not be restricted by the state, but football clubs are not obliged either.

    To me, this reads into the current state of concern in our society and how weak, greedy and irresponsible some football clubs owners can be.

  • That the same channel made videos essentially supporting BDS, fully embracing the bigotry inherent in that position, and then made a video questioning whether a man that murdered a woman should be allowed to play professional sports all within a month or so is peak liberalism, folks.

  • Wow. Great stuff lads. Brazilians usual don't care about anything but our society had a major hole in this case. Good criminals are dead criminals. This phrase help to elect the president and Bruno paid the price of our cultural revolution.

  • What most bothers most of us Brazilians, in this case, is not the rehabilitation of the human being, it is not his reintegration into society, we believe that this should happen, and there are numerous forms that have happened, what bothers is the return to the position of "idol", the return to a position in which he will again be the mirror for many young people and children. I hope he can find a new job and integrate into society, but he definitely can't be elevated to an idol position

  • I think he does have a right to get his life back together once he served his time and it's considered fit to return to life in society, but I don't think he deserves a place in the spotlight that football can bring him. His crime was absolutely heinous, he deserves at least lifetime anonimity, society cannot allow someone like him to become an idol, no matter how much he regrets having comitted such act – if he regrets it at all.

  • Respect for not making the title of this video "clickbaity", could easily have been "Should Killer Bruno Fernandes even be allowed to play football"?

  • Very sensitive topic on that. While I agree that he had not sufficiently served his sentence (I advocate for mandatory serve of sentence of at least 3/4 of the given sentence before any sort of parole can be applied.), once someone serves his punishment, one should be welcomed back to society, with programmes for rehabilitation. He should have freedom to try whatever he wants and is capable at.

    Society sadly isn’t very open minded naturally and any thing done against the norms are often ostracised and even booted out of the society.

  • I'm for the best chance at rehabilitation in 99% of scenarios, but pre-meditated murder involving a professional hitman is not something that you can forgive let alone rehabilitate .

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