Vice President of Suriname Brunswijk, 60, plays for team he owns

The 60-year-old vice-president of Suriname picks HIMSELF for a huge continental league game at club he owns… but former rebel fighter who was wanted by Interpol until last year can’t stop them losing 6-0!

  • Suriname’s vice president Ronnie Brunswijk, 60, picked himself for CONCACAF League fixture involving team he owns – Inter Moengotapoe
  • Brunswijk captained the side and played up front alongside his son Damian
  • He played 54 minutes of the match but couldn’t stop 6-0 thrashing by Olimpia 
  • Brunswijk was a rebel commander during country’s civil war in the 1980s
  • He was convicted by the Netherlands for drug trafficking offences in 1999
  • Politician remained on Interpol’s Red Notice list until recently  

The 60-year-old vice president of Suriname Ronnie Brunswijk decided to play for a team he owns in a CONCACAF League fixture – with less than positive results.

Brunswijk owns Inter Moengotapoe and is also the club’s president but the politician decided to take a more hands on approach for their last-16 game against Olimpia on Tuesday night.

Not only did Brunswijk pick himself but he captained the side in the stadium that happens to be named after him. He also played alongside his son Damian up front for much of the game.

The vice president of Suriname, Ronnie Brunswijk, played for a team he owns, Inter Moengotapoe, in a CONCACAF League fixture at the age of 60

Brunswijk, a rebel leader in Suriname’s civil war in the 1980s and 1990s, became the South American country’s vice president last year 

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But his presence wasn’t exactly conducive to a good result for the team, who lost 6-0.

Video clips from television coverage of the game show Brunswijk not appearing to move around a great deal as he shouts instructions at his team-mates and lambasts one team-mate for not passing to him.

However, a match report from the game stated that Brunswijk completed 14 of the 17 passes he attempted in his 54 minutes of action. The competition is North America’s equivalent of the Europa League.  

In playing in the game at 60 years and 198 days, he became the oldest player to appear in an international club competition.

Television footage on Twitter showed Brunswijk complaining to team-mates in the 6-0 defeat

Captaining the side, the 60-year-old appeared less than impressed with the performance

Indeed, Brunswijk outdates North American confederation CONCACAF itself. He was born on March 7, 1961 while the organisation was founded on September 18, 1961.   

The team probably won’t fancy their chances of overturning that deficit when the second leg takes place in Honduras next Wednesday.

A video was also circulated appearing to show Brunswijk in the Olimpia dressing room distributing money to their players after the game.

Brunswijk certainly has a colourful past – he was a rebel leader for the Jungle Commando during the Surinamese Interior War in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a campaign that resulted in hundreds of deaths before a peace treaty was signed in 1992.

He has been prosecuted in absentia by the Netherlands in 1999 for drug trafficking and even when he became the country’s vice-president in July last year an Interpol warrant for his arrest remained active. He isn’t currently on their red notice list. 

Brunswijk (front) pictured in Moengo, Suriname in 1999. He led rebel fighters during the country’s civil war during the late 1980s before moving into politics

But Brunswijk is very popular in Suriname with a New York Times profile describing him as the ‘Robin Hood’ of the country because he distributed money earned from his crimes to the poor, sometimes throwing it from his helicopter.

In 2002, he built the 3,000-capacity Ronnie Brunswijkstadion for Inter Moengotapoe but his involvement in football has often been controversial.

In 2005, he was suspended for allegedly threatening some player with a handgun during a match. However, the suspension was later retracted because of a lack of evidence.

And in 2012, Brunswijk was suspended for a year after verbally abusing a referee.

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