The university club, known as the Pumas, didn’t take long to distance themselves from Dani Alves, who is being held in provisional prison without bail and accused of raping a woman at a Barcelona nightclub last December. Hours after his arrest, on January 20, the Mexican authorities terminated the soccer player’s contract. Now he went one step further. According to a publication by the Brazilian portal UOL, Pumas demanded five million dollars in damages from the 39-year-old footballer for violating an ethics and conduct clause. As this newspaper was able to learn, this contractual condition applies to all connections of all players of the club and punishes the involvement in doping cases, “in any publicly known scandal” or in “any act that is considered a criminal offense”. the law of the country in which it occurred.
The first days of January turned into pure chaos for Pumas. On January 4, the woman reported to the Mossos d’Esquadra that Alves had raped her on December 31 at Sutton nightclub in Barcelona. A week later, the footballer asked the club for permission to travel to Barcelona and attend his mother-in-law’s funeral. The request was granted. Since then, everything has been hermetic in the Mexican club. When the Brazilian was arrested by the police after his arrival in Barcelona, the Mexican team consulted the legal department and they decided to terminate Alves’ contract immediately. “We cannot allow one person’s behavior to harm our working philosophy,” said Leopoldo Silva, President of Pumas.
Alves went from a footballing idyll to a legal nightmare for cougars. On July 21, 2022, the Uni team shook the transfer market when they announced the signing of the former Barcelona defender, the footballer with the most titles in history (42). At Pumas, they weren’t used to hiring players with too much prestige, instead focusing on training young Mexicans. So signing Alves was historic for the club, who tied the Brazilian on a €300,000 one-season contract, a huge salary for the Mexican league. However, Alves appeared to be the perfect hook for Puma’s sponsors, which included international brands such as Nike and DHL. The team’s shirts sold out days after the signing was announced and the club used the footballer’s image to better reach its sponsors, with 9.4 million followers on Twitter and 38.5 million on Instagram.
Now Alves is considered a banned name at the Mexican club. It is also for the brands that bet on the Brazilian. The connection between Adidas and Alves expired in 2022. The German company did not extend the contract. She wasn’t the only one who broke up with the footballer. Hygia Saúde (an application related to public health in Brazil) ended her sponsorship of Alves on January 24, four days after his arrest. “Our pillar is the appreciation of women and we strive for them to be increasingly recognized in society and able to lead better and healthier lives,” he said. 1xBet (betting company) decided to send an email and terminate the link with the player on January 23, three days after the arrest. “Scheduled payments will also be postponed,” he reminded her. And Ethika (underwear) ended the connection on January 25, five days after Alves went to jail. “We will not make any of the agreed payments for 2023 until Dani is cleared of debt,” he explained.
Soccer player Dani Alves is arrested in a police car after giving a statement at Les Corts police station in Barcelona, Catalonia (Spain) on January 20, 2023. Photo: Europa-Press | Video: EPV
That the contracts have been terminated is one of Alves’ arguments to request his provisional release. As reported jesus garcia, the footballer’s defense assures that the Brazilian has no “economic muscles” and cites Pumas’ decision to terminate his contract precisely. In the letter, he adds that “several companies have canceled the sponsorship, advertising and image deals” they had signed with the player.
Márquez and the drug trade
Rafael Márquez, the current Barça Athletic coach, has been listed by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as a suspect of having been one of the drug trafficking front men in 2017. Following this information, the brands the Mexican relies on was her ambassador – Gillette and Nike – immediately ended their relationship. Márquez assured that he is not in a relationship and could play the World Cup over the months. Of course, the brands accompanying the Mexican team asked him to train with a kit without logos. He was also unable to make any statements to the press. In September 2021, OFAC removed Márquez’s name from its list.
Other instances of brands ending their relationships with athletes implicated in crimes or scandals included that of Tiger Woods in 2009 when a sex scandal was made public that cost him a string of global sponsors and millions of dollars. In 2018, Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao lost a contract with Nike, one of his pillars, for making gay people “worse than animals”.
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