October 2, 2017 / 10:32 PM / 2 years ago

Fifth Brazil women's team player quits over firing of coach

Jun 17, 2015; Moncton, New Brunswick, CAN; Brazil midfielder Maurine (19) and Costa Rica defender Lixy Rodriguez (12) battle for the ball during the first half in a Group E soccer match in the 2015 FIFA women's World Cup at Moncton Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kryger-USA TODAY Sports

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian Maurine on Monday became the fifth member of the women’s national team to quit international football in protest at the removal of coach Emily Lima two weeks ago.

“I was very upset with Emily’s departure,” the 31-year-old Maurine said in a message posted on social media. “Things are always in flux at the national side, it’s tiring, it wears you out. So I am bringing my time here to an end.”

Lima was the first woman to coach the Brazil women’s team but was removed on Sept. 22 after less than a year in charge and replaced by Vadao, the man who had preceded her in the job.

Lima’s removal was criticised by several players and Cristiane, Francielle, Rosana and Andreia Rosa all retired from internationals soon after, with veteran striker Cristiane saying there was no serious plan to run women’s football in Brazil.

A few days later Francielle added that the Brazilian Football Confederation “does not care about women’s football”.

Although they have never won the World Cup or Olympic title, Brazil’s women’s team are usually considered among the world’s best, with striker Marta winning an unprecedented five FIFA Player of the Year titles.

They struggled under the inexperienced Lima and lost five of their last six matches of her reign, falling to ninth place in the world rankings.

Vadao will lead the side later this month when they go to China to play in the Copa CFA against North Korea, Mexico and the host nation.

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ken Ferris

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