Said & Done: ‘My focus is just on the football. We all have a private life’

David Hills
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Bruno, meeting fans at Boa Esporte.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Cristiane Mattos/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Bruno, meeting fans at Boa Esporte. Photograph: Cristiane Mattos/AFP/Getty Images

Quote of the week

Brazil: Boa Esporte coach Julinho Camargo - “relaxed” about having early-release murderer Bruno in his squad, seven years after the keeper fed his girlfriend to dogs. “It’s not an issue, my focus is just on football. We all have a private life.”

Also staying strong: Ingrid Calheiros, Bruno’s wife since their prison marriage last year, dealing with haters online: “God is everything ... all honour and glory to him alone! We haven’t got time to waste on you unfortunate and unloved people. Don’t like it? Go tell Our Lord of Hosts, because He is merciful and can bless your life the way He blessed ours. While you waste your time on us, we binge on love … That’s it, goodnight. #cryenviousones #acceptit #loveandbeloved #kissonshoulder #godismore #godbewithus #sorryitwasgodgaveitme #byedarling #hypocrisy.”

Lead of the week

Uefa head Aleksander Ceferin - launching his new “Protection of the Game” drive against fraud and bad ethics. “If we, football’s leaders, don’t lead by example, then one day fans will have enough, and turn away from football.”
(February:Ceferin appraises Italy FA head Carlo Tavecchio – convicted five times since 1970 for corruption and banned for racism in 2014: “I have an excellent opinion of Carlo. He’s an honest man - passionate and independent minded.”)

Best reflex

Russia’s deputy PM Vitaly Mutko, asked about British press coverage of Russian football violence, including MP Igor Lebedev’s calls for hooliganism to be legalised. “[Journalists] have been tasked with discrediting Russian sport. These meaningless attacks show no sign of letting up.”

Legal news: shortest battle

8 Mar: Zimbabwe FA head Philip Chiyangwa threatens to sue over claims his 58th birthday party was a front for a plot to oust African confederation president Issa Hayatou. “Do not dare me with silly innuendos, nefarious allegations. My legal team is preparing to go into battle.”
18 Mar: Chiyangwa reflects on Hayatou being ousted. “I did this. The council for removing Hayatou was the one you saw at my birthday party. This victory was my own art, my particular artistry. I have totally silenced this guy.”

Chiyangwa’s view on his wider role in the football family, a month after Gianni Infantino denied collusion: “This is how it works. I wait to get clearance from Fifa on whom to fight, whether to keep somebody or to deal with them. I was given the green light to deal with this one - and I did.”

Plus: most generous

Disgraced former Fifa official Mohamed bin Hammam – unable to deny he gave new CAF president Ahmad Ahmad suspect payments in 2008 and 2010 because: “I helped many people … In no way can I remember who, when, why or how much.” Bin Hammam told Bloomberg he never asked for anything in return; Ahmad denies wrongdoing.

Other news: most amicable

Romania: Former ASA manager Ilie Stan, claiming he was forced out for refusing to put a sponsor’s son in his first XI. “They treat me as a toerag. Playing him was like playing with 10 men. It’s an outrageous working environment.” ASA’s statement on his exit: “This was an amicable separation. Thanks for everything, Ilie!”

Most awkward

French coach Willy Sagnol, reaching the final two interview stage for the Ghana job, three years after saying “typical African” players are “powerful” but “lack intelligence”. Sagnol denied racism: “If my imperfect semantics offended, I’m sorry.”

Also standing firm

Brazil, 3 Mar: Vasco president Eurico Miranda, attacking critics of coach Cristovão Borges as racists. “Most people do not like Cristovão. I like him, but they don’t because he does not have the same colour as me. It’s prejudice. In any case, I’m not one for sacking coaches.” 18 Mar: Sacks him.

Most restless

Italy: Former Palermo owner Maurizio Zamparini, denying he tried to make the new owners sack coach Diego Lopez and rehire Davide Ballardini for a fourth spell. “It’s fake speculation. I’m just a consultant from time to time, as befits my age and experience.”

Keeping it real

Romania: Astra manager Marius Sumudica, reflecting after four Romania U21 players were sent home for drinking on the team plane. “Leave them be. I have a saying: he who doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t pee in the sink is not a real player. It’s folklore.”

Ready to learn

Brazil: Atlético-GO striker Walter, looking to new coach Marcelo Cabo to solve his discipline and excess weight issues: “I am ready to change.”
(Jan: Cabo says sorry after being found by police in a motel “heavy with drink” having gone missing for 40 hours. “This was one mistake, so we move on. Time is the master of reason. Time will show who Marcelo Cabo really is.”)

Plus: most viral

South Africa: Free State Stars striker Mohammed Anas, explaining what he meant in a post-game interview when he thanked “my fans, my wife and my girlfriend … I mean my wife.” Anas: “I don’t have a girlfriend. I call my daughter my girlfriend. That’s what I was talking about.” The positive: “I’m famous now - people around the world know me.”

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