Back in 2010, Brazilian soccer star Bruno Fernandes de Souza was accused of ordering several of his friends to kidnap and kill his girlfriend Eliza Samudio after she told him she was pregnant and asked him for financial assistance. According to reports, Samudio was locked inside of a shed and tortured before being strangled to death and then fed to Bruno’s dogs. Bruno was subsequently sentenced to 22 years in prison in 2013 after confessing to his role in her murder.
Bruno appealed his conviction, though, and in a stunning development in the case, he was freed from prison recently and allowed to go about living his life while his lawyers work on his appeal. And because Brazil’s justice system is, according to USA Today, notoriously slow, it could be a long time before his case reaches the country’s higher courts. So in the meantime, Bruno is apparently going to get back to work and try to resume playing soccer.
He has found a team willing to sign him to a deal, too. On Monday, second-tier club Boa Esporte announced they are signing Bruno to a two-year deal, in spite of the fact that he could be sent back to prison at some point in the near future. And it’s obviously not sitting well with many fans or sponsors of the team.
Bruno thanked Boa Esporte for giving him a chance to play soccer again during a press conference on Tuesday. "People run from me because of what happened in the past," he said. "Boa is opening the doors. I’m very happy, motivated."
But at least five team sponsors have already announced they will part ways with the team if Bruno plays for them. Additionally, the city where the team plays, Varginha, has said it is looking into whether it can legally sever ties with the team as well. Fans have also taken to the team’s Facebook page to protest Bruno’s signing, and women’s groups have spoken out against it. But in a Facebook post that was put up on Tuesday, the club’s president Rone Moraes da Costra defended the signing and asked, "Who has never heard [it said] that work dignifies a man?"
For now, it sounds like Bruno will remain with the club. But it seems inconceivable to think that he’ll last there very long.