Keir RadnedgeWorld football has not heard the last of Ricardo Teixeira, the long-time Brazilian football supreme deposed early this year but still apparently pulling strings from his exile in Miami.

Teixeira fled Brazil under the increasing weight of investigations and allegations – all denied – into the commercial deals undertaken during his reign.

He had been president of the Brazilian football confederation for 23 years and an 18-year member of the FIFA’s all-powerful excutive committee.

Before his departure the 65-year-old former son-in-law of ex-world federation president Joao Havelange ensured that his own personal choice, Jose Maria Marin, took over as new president of the CBF and as chairman of the 2014 World Cup local organising committee.

Now it has been revealed that Teixeira accomplished another manoeuvre to secure the extension of his infuence within Brazilian football.

Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has spoken out on a number of occasions in favour of a ‘democratisation’ of Brazilian sport out of concern at the lengthy tenures of power controlled by the likes of Havelange, Teixeira and Olympic committee president Carlos Arthur Nuzman.

In fact, two weeks before resigning in March Teixeira brought forward the next CBF presidential election from 2015 to April 2014, two months before the World Cup finals which Brazil will host. The change was pushed through by Teixeira, senior CBF vice-president Marin and their ally Marco Polo del Nero.

The latter is another CBF vice-president and the man who has taken over Teixeira’s seat on the FIFA exco; he is also considered the likely long-term next CBF president since Marin, at 80, is seen as only an interim appointment.

The move has been attacked by both media critics and by one of Teixeira’s most vocal  opponents Romario, the former World Cup winner turned Deputy.

Romario sees the manoeuvre as a means of ensuring that the ‘Teixeira gang’ would maintain their grip on power whatever the outcome of the World Cup, both on and/or off the pitch. Clearly, if Brazil’s national team fail to win a record-extending sixth Cup in front of their own fans the CBF command would face nationwide attack.

But, if Marin and Co had been re-elected in that April of 2014, they would be well placed to ride out the storm.

Via both his Twitter and Facebook accounts, Romario has urged Rebelo and state President Dilma Rousseff to intervene – and he has retracted earlier comments welcoming changes at the helm of the CBF.

Romario said: “I wish to withdraw, publicly, everything I said about the present management [of the CBF]. I thought that we had eradicated a cancer, but we have discovered two new ones. I believed that the CBF had changed but it has changed for worse. That is case for the Federal Police and the Government department.”

Earlier this month Romario demanded answers about the TAM affair when the airline quit as a sponsor of the CBF after revelations about a secret clause in the contract setting out the terms of payment to companies owned by a friend and business associate of Teixeira.

Catch-22 for Romario, over the election issue, is that Marin and Del Nero can tell Rebelo that, in bringing forward the next CBF presidential ballot, they are merely complying with his stated wish for greater democracy . . .

By Keir Radnedge

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