The footballer Giovana Queioz, 18, has publicly denounced in a letter that she had been a victim of harassment during her brief spell at Barça last season, when she was still a minor. The young athlete assures that the club pressured her not to play with the national team of her country, Brazil, and that when she finally did, she was retaliated against for it. “I was exposed to humiliating and embarrassing situations for months,” she says.
Queiroz explains that he has already sent the letter to the board of directors, where he assures that he gives names of those responsible for the “abusive conduct.” In the letter that she has posted on Twitter, she explains that it all started when the club pressured her and ended up “cornering”, according to her account, so that she would give up wearing the Brazil team shirt. “Arbitrary methods were used with the clear goal of harming my professional life,” she notes.
At this point, she denounces that she was subjected to confinement due to COVID-19 in February 2021, which she considers “illegal” and forced by the club’s head of medical services. According to the soccer player, she could not be considered close contact and this was confirmed by the Department of Health of the Generalitat when she called them to ask for clarification, she says. “They illegally locked me up and I couldn’t leave the house. I couldn’t train or have a normal routine. She was devastated. That arbitrariness meant not traveling with the team to the Copa de la Reina final”, she explains.
After the quarantine, she says, she traveled with authorization from FIFA to play for Brazil, and it was when she returned when, after a meeting with the “club director”, she was removed from the team accusing her of having committed “serious indiscipline”. In the letter, she implies that this director, whom she does not identify, was the one who subjected her to “shameful” and “humiliating” situations, without going into details. “He sought to destroy my reputation, undermine my self-esteem, degrade my working conditions, belittle and underestimate my psychological conditions,” she says. The fact that she was a minor, he adds, was not an “impediment” for him, and over time her abuse became more “intense and destructive.”
Queiroz, who today is on loan to Levante but still belongs to FC Barcelona, asks the club to act “consequently” and investigate and report the “possible crimes” to the relevant authorities. Although she does not consider Barça “directly responsible” for the conduct suffered, she does believe that the club “must be responsible for ensuring physical, mental, psychological and moral integrity in the face of any form of violence.”
Queiroz arrived at Barça in July 2020, at the end of Josep Maria Bartomeu’s Board stage at the club. The then president resigned in October of that year. The most serious episodes reported by Queiroz correspond to February 2021, when the club was managed by a manager led by Carlos Tusquets.