Players from the Brazilian Men’s National team caused a stir in social media recently after the FIVB published a celebratory pictures of the squad after its successful debut in the WCH against Egypt, which depicted some of the players making hand gestures in support of one of the presidential candidates in the country’s upcoming elections. The pictures made their way to the Brazilian Volleyball Federation’s (CBV) official Instagram page, where fans were quick to start a war over the players’ actions. They have since been taken down and the institution has released an official note stating that it will prohibit its teams from participating in collective political manifestations in international competitions from now on.
In the pictures, Wallace Souza and Mauricio Borges make a hand gesture signaling the number 17, Jair Bolsonaro’s call up number in the country’s October election. The candidate is a divise character in Brazil’s contemporary society, as many claims he embodies doctrines that flirt with the far-right political spectrum. Jair has faced many lawsuits in Brazil regarding accusations of homophobic and sexist remarks. He currently leads the polls for the presidential campaign.