Temperatures were in the 30s, excluding humidity, when Suriname’s Inter Moengotapoe team faced Honduran CD Olimpia at the Flora Stadium in Paramaribo last Tuesday night. The match was the first leg of an international CONCACAF round of 16 match, the equivalent of a UEFA Europa League.
What made this match interesting was that Inter Moengotapoe’s captain for the clash was 60-year-old Ronnie Brunswijk. Brunswijk is not a longtime athlete, in fact he has only played a handful of professional matches in the past.
â Ronnie Brunswijk (60 years old), vice-president of Surinam y dueño del club Inter Moengotapoe, estÃ jugando de titular vs Olimpia in the #ConcacafLeague âš½ï¸ ??
Historical moment pic.twitter.com/KkLg2BsPNr
– TUDNRadio (@TudnRadio) September 22, 2021
Ronnie Brunswijk is the vice president of Suriname. The politician also owns the Inter Moengotapoe football club.
Brunswijk played for the first 54 minutes of the game. 28 of those minutes were alongside his son Damian Brunswijk, one of his 50 children according to ESPN. The home team lost by a score of 6-0.
A video on social media has since shown the 60-year-old entering Olimpia’s locker room after ransacking and distributing money to players on the opposing team. It was this action by Brunswijk that prompted CONCACAF to open a formal investigation.
In a press release published on its website, the Confederation states:
“We are extremely concerned about the content of a video circulating on social media that raises potential integrity concerns regarding the Concacaf League game between Inter Moengotapoe and CD Olimpia.
“The matter is referred to the Concacaf Disciplinary Committee who will open a formal investigation and a further update will be provided when this process is completed.”
For those who think that a politician who distributes money in this way is extravagant, it is actually a fairly low-key way of distributing money for Brunswijk. According to NOS Nieuws, he has been known in the past for throwing money from a helicopter at crowds of supporters.
Inter Moengotapoe will meet CD Olimpia again for the first leg of the round of 16 of the CONCACAF League. However, Brunswijk will not be available for selection as he is wanted by Interpol.
According to the Associated Foreign Press, in 1999 Brunswijk was convicted in absentia of drug trafficking by a Dutch court and sentenced to eight years in prison. He was also found guilty of similar charges in France in 2000 where he was sentenced to 10 years.
If Brunswijk leaves Suriname, he risks facing legal problems.
According to ESPN contributor and statistician Mr. Chip, last Tuesday’s exploits make Brunswijk the oldest player to feature in an international club match.
There have been no further statements as to whether this was Brunswijk’s last professional football game and whether he was considering retiring from the sport.
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