Brazilian players refuse the return of a coach accused of harassment sports

Players from professional Brazilian women’s clubs protested this weekend against the return of Santos coach Cleiton Lima, who last year was accused of sexual and moral harassment by several female athletes.

Pictures were taken of the players of Atletico Mineiro and America Mineiro covering their mouths, before the start of the match between them in the Brazilian Women’s Championship.

In particular, photos were taken of Atletico Mineiro defender Lisa, who is wearing the number 19 shirt, with her back turned, while a player from America Mineiro lifted the club’s shirt that bears the same number.

Earlier this week, two other players showed the number 19 on their shirts during a match between Palmeiras and Avai Kinderman.

The number 19 symbolizes the number of anonymous letters sent last September by female players to the Santos Club Board of Directors, accusing coach Clayton Lima (49 years old) of “moral and sexual harassment,” especially during training sessions or club-related activities.

Lima, who denied these accusations, resigned from his position when local media highlighted these accusations. But in the absence of evidence, according to the Brazilian club, he then returned to Santos at the beginning of this month.
“These arguments were very weak and fragile, unnecessarily distorting the history of Santos,” said the club’s women’s football coordinator, Tice Bekaert.

The scene of Santos players gagging their mouths and ears was repeated during their team’s match against Corinthians on Friday, during the playing of the national anthem, in front of coach Clayton Lima, who sat on the bench.

Lima coached the Santos women’s team for three periods (1999-2010, 2022-2023, and then this year) and led it to the local title in 2007 and 2009.

He also supervised the training of the Brazilian women’s national team, with whom he won the Copa America Cup in 2010.

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