Even Ricardo Teixeira’s friends and erstwhile allies are growing dissatisfied with the now-you-see-him-now-you-don’t tragic-farce at the top of Brazilian football. Brazil’s friends abroad are also beginning to wonder how seriously the country can be taken as a World Cup host when its power base appears paralysed by apparent incompetence.
Hence what remains of the executive authority of the CBF, the Brazilian football confederation, has summoned an emergency general meeting in response to demands from its regions for information about Teixeira’s rumoured presidential departure.
Brazil’s football supremo for more than two decades, held a dinner meeting of close friends on Thursday night then flew to Miami to rejoin his wife and daughter amid speculation that he was about to resign and was planning a beat-the-courts dispersal of his properties back in and around Rio de Janeiro.
The CBF has always refuted reports of Teixeira being prepared to succumb to pressure which has built up after the well-documented and ever-expanding series of financial and commercial scandals and controversies.
However it has been forced to organise an EGM for February 29 after receiving a demand from more than the requisite minimum among the 27 regional associations. Demands so far have come from the federations of Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Santa Catarina, Parana and the Federal District of Brasilia.
If Teixeira steps down then the senior vice-president, 79-year-old Jose Maria Marin, would take over as acting president and the president of the Sao Paulo federation, Marco Polo Del Nero, would become acting secretary-general.
Marco Antonio Teixeira, an uncle of Ricardo, was sacked from the position two weeks ago by his presidential relative.
The Minas Gerais president, Francisco Novelleto, said: “We have nothing against Teixeira but we have not had any information either about what is going on. He telephoned people in some of the other federations, it seems, but not all of us.”
An early favourite as long-term successor, should Teixeira quit, is 53-year-old Weber Magalhães, another of the five CBF vice-presidents, from Brazil’s west-central regional federation. He was president of the Brasilia federation from 1996 to 2004 and was head of Brazil’s victorious delegation at the 2002 World Cup finals.
Initially Weber Magalhaes had made an impression as Teixeira’s parliamentary political adviser between 1989 and 1992.
By Keir Radnedge