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Volleyball-Brazil's Solberg could be fined, suspended for opposing right-wing president

A Brazilian volleyball player could be fined or suspended after the country's sporting tribunal charged her on Monday for speaking out against far-right President Jair Bolsonaro.

Reuters | Updated: 29-09-2020 06:33 IST | Created: 29-09-2020 06:33 IST
Volleyball-Brazil's Solberg could be fined, suspended for opposing right-wing president

A Brazilian volleyball player could be fined or suspended after the country's sporting tribunal charged her on Monday for speaking out against far-right President Jair Bolsonaro. Carol Solberg shouted "Down with Bolsonaro!" at the end of a beach volleyball tournament in Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 20.

The Superior Court of Sporting Justice (STJD) said her actions contravened two articles of the code of sporting justice, the first punishable with a 100 reais-100,000 reais fine ($18-$17,664) and the second with a one- to six-game suspension. One of the STJD's officials told the UOL website that Solberg had signed an agreement promising not to express personal opinions before participating in what was the first tournament to be held after the pandemic lockdown ended.

He said the decision to charge her was because undue publicity caused by controversial statements could adversely affect the organisers or their sponsors. However, speaking out for or against the football-loving Bolsonaro is not unusual in Brazilian sporting circles.

Palmeiras midfielder Felipe Melo shouted his support for the candidate Bolsonaro after one training session in 2017 and shared the video on Twitter, while Corinthians players Jadson and Roger were among others who publicly backed him. Several high-profile footballers, such as Tottenham winger Lucas Moura and former Barcelona players Rivaldo and Ronaldinho Gaucho, have expressed their admiration for the divisive leader.

The president regularly attended matches before the pandemic hit, with fans loudly greeting him with both boos and cheers. ($1 = 5.6612 reais)


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