Marist Football Club
Marist head Coach; Juliano Antonio Schmeling
The last two months Marist Football Club have been working tirelessly to sort out the Visas for the three Brazilian players, Guilherme, Marcelo and Diego, however for some unknown reason the Visas were not processed. Last week, Juliano Schmeling was informed that under the advice of Immigration, the Brazilian players should leave Solomon Islands to return and begin their Visas again, so this is what Juliano have organized. Yet upon their arrival into Honiara on Tuesday, they were immediately arrested and taken to the Police Station where they were told they would be put in a prison cell until they were deported.
“For three days the Brazilian players feared about what may happen to them, because the immigration officers and the police have threatened to lock them in prison cell. We prayed together and feared for their lives” Juliano said. “We pleaded and exhausted ourselves trying to explain this misunderstanding. Many discussions and heated arguments were had between people and officials who came to see us, but no decision was made to release the players from the Police custody. I feared for what may happen to the players, but all I could do was stay beside them.”
“I stopped my Head Coaching duties to ensure their safety and make sure they were unharmed and fed. I was not deported as some comments say, but I left Solomon Islands with the three Brazilians to help them out of the country as soon as possible. I had to see that they were well supported and looked after from the traumatizing events that had just happened. The events over the last week have come as a huge shock to all of us. I have never seen this side to the happy people of Solomon Islands. It is hard to understand and explain to the International players. Since my involvement from 2012 with Kurukuru & Marist FC, I have always been treated well by the people. I can tell you how deeply saddened I am to have experienced this from the people I love to teach and work with so much. I have so many good friends in Solomon, it leaves me with tears in my eyes to believe this situation really happened. The international players trusted me when bringing them to Solomon Islands and I trusted Solomon Islands would look after them.”
Juliano further stated that he was not given any dates to return to Solomon Islands because he needs time to make sure the three Brazilians are well before returning back to their homes in Brazil. “I trust that Marist FC Management will continue to do a great job in leading the team until I get back.” He said.