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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Paroled player back in football after fatal crash

12:21 PM GMT

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    Adriana Garcia

Striker Joao Maleck will resume his playing career at Mexican second division club Deportivo Cafessa less than two months after being released from prison on parole.

Maleck, 21, spent 18 months behind bars for a car accident that resulted in the death of a newlywed couple.

He was released on Dec. 16 after serving less than half of his sentence and posting a $151,121 bond.

Maleck has now joined Cafessa on loan from Liga MX side Santos for six months.

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“We reached an agreement with Club Santos so that Joao Maleck will join our team for the second half [of the campaign] and achieve our aims to gain promotion from the Liga Premier to the Liga Expansion,” Deportivo Cafessa vice-president Hector Reynoso said in a news conference.

“It is important to have someone of his quality.”

Reynoso added that Maleck’s arrival was a “delicate subject” but the club justified his signing.

“At CAFESSA Jalisco we believe that all our young people deserve opportunities to find a better destination, and football is a wonderful opportunity that transforms the lives of those of us who are part of it,” a club statement said.

“We know that life can confront us with situations that mark us forever, but if there is a possibility of working on our future actions, we must undertake the challenge of doing so and show our best version as people.”

At the time of the accident on June 23, 2019, Maleck was driving over the speed limit in Guadalajara, Mexico, and was under the influence of alcohol when his vehicle hit the car of the victims.

“We have all made mistakes,” Maleck’s agent Pavel Pardo said. “We are all committed to giving him our support. He is mentally strong and is focused on his work.”

Maleck, who had made several appearances for Mexico’s youth squads, is the son of former player Jean-Claude Maleck, who played in Tecos UAG and San Luis in the Mexican league in the 1990s.

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