During the Brazil-Serbia match in the World Cup in Qatar, the singer and composer Gilberto Gil, 80, was harassed by a Bolsonarista group who followed him as he climbed into the stands with his wife shouting insults. The video posted on social networks records the very moment in which the couple Gilberto and Flora Gil are attacked with curses and threats in tow. Ranier Felipe dos Santos Lemache, 43, a businessman from Volta Redonda, in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the members of the group: in the images he appears wearing the national team shirt with the name “Papito Rani” on the back while yelling at the former Minister of Culture in Lula’s government from 2003 to 2008: «Son of a bitch, long live Bolsonaro». Ronaldo also commented on what happened in Qatar, who on Instagram expressed his full solidarity with Gilberto Gil, condemning the harassment of the Bolsonarists: “All my support to the master Gilberto Gil”, began the champion. «How sad to see a genius of Brazilian popular music, who has always been a voice of love, life, peace, hope and resistance, with a trajectory of immeasurable impact for our culture, an icon of over 60 years career, a northeasterner who put Brazil on the world’s radar decades ago, being harassed as it was here in Qatar». And again: «Nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies such a lack of respect and cowardice. To the aggressors, the punishment due. To you, Gil, that hug!». The president of Brazil, Lula, also spoke on social media: «Gilberto Gil is one of the greatest Brazilians in history. Our supportive embrace to friends Gilberto Gil and Flora», wrote Lula on Twitter, commenting on the publication of his wife, Rosangela Lula da Silva.
In a note sent to the newspaper Globe Lemache himself has admitted to having been in the group that molested Gilberto Gil, but denies having cursed the artist. “I would like to sympathize with Mr. Gilberto Gil and his family for the offense that was done to him, since I don’t want to hear it either,” he said. “It was certainly not the right time, nor the right place, but the only two sentences I said were: ‘Go Bolsonaro'”. Lemache’s defense continued: “Due to the political polarization existing in Brazil today, another person who was behind me extrapolated and cursed Mr. Gilbert Gil. But again, it wasn’t me.” Meanwhile, Gilber Gil himself also commented on the incident on social media. Speaking for the first time about the incident, the singer thanked for the solidarity shown to him by friends and fans after the day of the match between Brazil and Serbia. «Thanks to everyone for the chain of solidarity, to the friends who have called and expressed themselves on social networks. Tomorrow we will cheer for the Brazilian team and for a Brazil without hatred.” As reported by Panorama Esportivo, Gil has decided not to present any formal complaint.
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