icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
7 Jun, 2021 11:32

‘Do you masturbate?’ Brazilian football in turmoil as president suspended over allegations of sexually harassing female employee

‘Do you masturbate?’ Brazilian football in turmoil as president suspended over allegations of sexually harassing female employee

With the governing body and Brazilian football in crisis, the country's FA president, Rogerio Caboclo, has been suspended from duties for 30 days after recordings emerged of him appearing to ask a staff member if she masturbated.

Boss Caboclo is said to have called the employee to his room on the second floor of the Brazilian FA – known as the CBF – headquarters in Rio on the evening of March 16.

He then allegedly demanded that she take off her mask and accept a glass of wine, with his accuser said to have pulled out her phone and sent messages to a pair of CBF directors to demand help.

One had already left and asked if he should return, while the other invented an excuse to enter Caboclo's office so the employee could then make her exit, according to Globo.

In the recording of the events which Caboclo denies, the report said he asked the employee who she finds attractive and makes crude references to the private parts of himself and his wife while suggesting they might lead separate affairs.

It is alleged that the type of events purportedly in the recording happened several times, with the president also often humiliating the employee in front of all-male directors.

"Chief, I'm not going to get into the subject of your sex life," she appeared to laugh in embarrassment.

According to the account, the employee was offered wine again before refusing to answer questions on her own life when Caboclo asked her if she can resist him "hitting on her every day", receiving a response of "bye" when he asked her whether she masturbates.

This exchange reportedly occurred just a week after Caboclo insulted the employee at his house in Sao Paulo. Caboclo was alleged to have drunk alcohol for the entirety of a work day, called her a "little dog" and offered her dog biscuits.

Once scolded by the employee, he is then said to have simulated barking in order to mock her further.

Confronting Caboclo the next day, the employee allegedly made it clear that she had never felt so humiliated and received a promise that the supremo would no longer meddle in her personal life, while he is also claimed to have demanded the employee would no longer have any personal relationships with anyone at the CBF.

In the same conversation, he also reportedly told the employee that her clothes were not compatible with her function and insisted she changed the way she dressed, even offering money for the purchase of new items. 

On April 9, the employee applied for leave for health reasons, and negotiations to suppress the case are said to have begun soon after Caboclo's suspension at the weekend, 

According to her complaint allegedly made to the CBF's Ethics Council, Caboclo tried to force her to give false statements to reporters and sign a document denouncing her own claims, which she refused to do.

Separately, Globo called in a digital crime expert, Wanderson Castilho, who lives in Miami and works for US police, to confirm that it is Caboclo's voice on the recordings.

Attempting to defend his sullied name, Caboclo's lawyers released a statement amid their emergence.

"Rogerio Caboclo vehemently denies having committed any act of harassment," it began. 

"Although he acknowledges that there were inappropriate jokes and excessive intimacy, it must be made clear that these [were a product of the] fact that there was a friendship between the two, that the whistleblower went to his house several times, spent time with his family and that both talked frequently about matters of a personal nature.

"But he never physically approached the whistleblower, [and] less so made any move or proposal to take advantage of her [sexually].

"The whistleblower omits the fact that, for several weeks, [she] negotiated [an] agreement around the issue, and even constituted a lawyer to do so, having made an initial request of 12 million reais ($2.4 million) in exchange for the non-disclosure of the recording.

"Strangely, she ended up making the complaint three months after the date on which she made the recording, and on an official match day of the Brazilian national team [a World Cup qualifier against Ecuador]," it continued.

"Draft agreements were demonstrably exchanged, but it seems, in the end, the whistleblower was not content with its terms."

As the employee's own legal team deny that there was ever any request for compensation on her behalf, and instead claim an offer from Caboclo was refused, the CBF will meet on Monday morning to discuss the future of the governing body, Caboclo, and Brazilian football.

As if Caboclo's scandal wasn't enough, the national team's stars are refusing to play in the Copa America tournament that has been moved to their homeland from Colombia and Argentina amid social unrest and a mishandling of the Covid pandemic by president Jair Bolsonaro which has seen Brazil record 475,000 deaths – second only to the US in total.

On Thursday, Real Madrid star Casemiro failed to show at a press conference that was meant to be jointly hosted with manager Tite, who then explained that the absence ahead of the Ecuador clash was related to the debacle.

"We've asked the athletes to focus only on the game against Ecuador. Then they've asked to speak directly to the president [Caboclo]," Tite confirmed.

"It was a very straightforward conversation. And then the players' stance has also became very clear. We have a position but we will not reveal it now.

"Our priority now is to play well and to win against Ecuador. We understand that the situation will become clear after this international break.

"They (the players) have an opinion, they've told it to the president and they will tell it to the people at the right time.

"That was the reason why Casemiro, our skipper, wasn't here for this interview."

After the 2-0 win in Porto Alegre, however, Casemiro broke his silence.

"Everyone knows our position, everyone knows it. It is impossible to be clearer and Tite has already exposed it publicly," he said.

"It's not just my personal position, it's not the position of the national team players who play in Europe. It's the position of all the players of the squad and also of Tite's coaching staff.

"I can't say nothing else because we decided not to talk about the matter, but after the meeting with Paraguay we will make it very clear what our position is."

With Bolsonaro stating that the Copa America will go ahead in South America's largest country regardless of the protests, the president is reported to be meddling in the national team's affairs even further by demanding that Tite is removed for failing to put the players in line.

Tite could be replaced by staunch Bolsonaro supporter Renato Gaucho, who was recently fired by Gremio.

The switch will reportedly be made after Tuesday night's away game with Paraguay, and is likely to be met by further revolt from the squad.

A popular figure since taking over from Dunga in 2016, the Selecao have suffered just four defeats during his reign – with only one of those competitive in Russia at the World Cup against Belgium in the quarter-finals. 

Helping deliver a first piece of major silverware in 12 years at the Maracana last year, he also led Brazil to the Copa America, where Bolsonaro celebrated on-pitch with the winning team.

Also on rt.com Ukrainian Association of Football cops mixed reaction to Euro 2020 shirt featuring patriotic slogans, map outline including Crimea