Friday September 24th 2021
Football Association is sounding the alarm
Video puts Brunswijk in dire straits
The football game that made 60-year-old Ronnie Brunswijk a legend has an unpleasant aftermath. A video that emerged after Inter Moengotapoe’s 6-0 defeat by CD Olimpia startled the continental federation. The Surinamese vice-president is threatened with trouble again.
Ronnie Brunswijk shared his luck and now he is in a lot of trouble. The oldest footballer ever to appear in an international competition is (once again) suspected of doing something insincere. The Disciplinary Committee of the North and Central American Association CONCACAF has opened an investigation. The reason for this is a video that went viral, which shows the great happiness of the Surinamese. After the game of his club Inter Moengotapoe (he belongs to him) he went into the dressing room of the Honduran guests of CD Olimpia (it ended with 0: 6) and there, shirtless and in a good mood, had distributed banknotes very efficiently. His request? Not clear. His nickname: Robin Hood.
Maybe the 60-year-old just wanted to give. As he had done so many times in his life. As a rebel leader, he had regularly raided military vehicles in the 1980s and passed the booty on. Old times! Ronnie Brunswijk is now Vice President of his country. But it is also like this: he is not a very serious statesman. Because if he has the plan to leave Suriname for a trip, he is threatened with arrest by Interpol. There are pending arrest warrants against him from the Netherlands (the former colonial power) and France. Because of drug trafficking. Brunswijk has to fear several years of imprisonment. He’s just a very special guy. According to a portrait in the New York Times, he was an elite paratrooper, soccer player, wanted bank robber, guerrilla leader, gold baron and father of at least 50 children in the course of his life.
The investigation that has now been initiated by the Continental Association has quite ironic features. Because the topic of waving banknotes has not been alien to its own functionaries in the past. There’s the legendary Jack Warner, for example. He was always suspected of being involved in shabby business. With the German summer fairy tale, for example. Or when the controversial Qatari official Mohamed bin Hammam tried to buy votes for a FIFA presidency. Two years ago, Warner was sentenced by a New York federal judge to a fine of 79 million euros. Reason for this: acceptance of bribes. Another, similar case is that of the Colombian Enrique Sanz. The former CONCACAF Secretary General has been banned for life by the FIFA Ethics Committee for corruption. That was also in 2019.
Well, so be it. In any case, the association is officially alarmed by the behavior of Ronnie Brunswijk. A statement said: “We are extremely concerned about the content of a video floating on social media that poses potential integrity issues related to the CONCACAF league game between Inter Moengotapoe and CD Olimpia.” The hasty attempts from Suriname to quickly make the recording from the cabin disappear again failed. The original clip is deleted, but the copy is not. As reported by journalist Jon Arnold, the scene was streamed live by someone who is referred to on Wikipedia as a “Surinamese football club owner, entertainer, convicted drug dealer” and also a “politician”.
It should just be a nice evening for Ronnie. And then that. But it is also like this: When he threatened an opponent on the field with a pistol 16 years ago, he was banned for five years, but later acquitted. For “lack of evidence”. Obviously, wherever there is a Ronnie, there is always a good idea.