Suriname is a South American country with a population of nearly 600,000, but Brunswijk has just stepped down from his post as vice-president to lead the club he owns, Inter Moengotapoe, in a CONCACAF League match, a second tier international club competition. similar to the UEFA Europa League.
Inter ultimately lost 6-0 to Honduran side CD Olimpia on Tuesday, according to the official CONCACAF match report.
Brunswijk “made history as the oldest player, at 60, to play in international club competition,” according to ESPN.
But it’s not just his exploits on the pitch that raise eyebrows; it is what would have happened after the match which led CONCACAF to launch a formal investigation.
“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.”
“We did our job”
Brunswijk had donned the number 61 shirt for the club he owns, but his involvement in the game also raised questions as to whether he had disrespected the competition.
CD Olimpia player Johnny Leverón addressed the press after the game, saying each team is free to make whatever decision they think is best.
“This is a situation for our opponents, we are not getting involved in this,” said Leverón, who said he believed a lot of attention was being paid to Brunswijk’s appearance.
“As I said, today we did our job,” he added.
A reporter also asked Gustavo Reggi, assistant coach of CD Olimpia, if he felt disrespectful by Brunswijk’s appearance.
Reggi said he found out the vice-president would play half an hour before the game started, but said it was about Inter Moengotapoe, not his team.
“Whoever is in front of us, we have to give our all,” Reggi said.
CNN has contacted CD Olimpia, Inter Moengotapoe, CONCACAF and the Suriname Vice President’s office for comment.
Suriname is a former Dutch colony which gained independence in 1975.
Brunswijk has a widely reported history, including a conviction in the Netherlands for drug trafficking, but became vice president in July 2020. The Dutch court system did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for more details on sentence.
Chan Santokhi was elected president at the time and referred to Brunswijk’s turbulent past.
“Mr. Brunswijk has his story. We could look at his story and see that as an obstacle,” Santokhi told The New York Times. “We look forward to a brighter future, for we are two leaders who have been entrusted to lead this nation together.”