Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 29 May 2020

Is Brazil president Jair Bolsonaro a secret Al Wasl football fan?

Controversial leader attends meeting wearing UAE club's jersey

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro leaves the Alvorada Palace after chairing a meeting about the coronavirus outbreak, in Brasilia, Brazil. Reuters
Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro leaves the Alvorada Palace after chairing a meeting about the coronavirus outbreak, in Brasilia, Brazil. Reuters

While not confirmed, it appears Jair Bolsonaro might well be a fan of the Arabian Gulf League.

More specifically, Dubai-based Al Wasl.

The Brazil president has been spotted wearing what seems to be the seven-time UAE champions’ jersey during a briefing with staff.

Football shirts wouldn’t usually be de rigueur for leaders of countries, unless they were donning them at a World Cup, a Copa America, a European Championship and the like.

Saying that, Bolsonaro isn’t known for being the most conventional of politicians.

So if true, it remains something of a mystery how he came to sport Wasl’s colours. Of course, the Zabeel Stadium club were famously managed by Diego Maradona, but given the rivalry between Brazil and the World Cup winner’s native Argentina, that’s probably a stretch.

Then again, Wasl have employed a number of Brazilian coaches in the past, most recently World Cup-winning full-back Jorginho, albeit very briefly, in 2014.

And there's fabled striker Anderson Barbosa, who represented the club with aplomb in the 2006/07 season by firing Wasl to their last league title that same season.

Meanwhile, Brazil-born Fabio De Lima is the star of the current team.

So maybe that's it. Or maybe it's simply another random entry to Bolsonaro's incumbency.

Updated: April 7, 2020 05:18 PM

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