By Samindra Kunti
March 11 – When Carlos Dunga, Brazil’s head coach, called up his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Paraguay respectively earlier this week, the interim president of the CBF, the Brazilian FA, Antonio Nunes (pictured) mockingly responded to a reporter’s question about Nunes’s possible cooperation with the parliamentary inquiry (CPI) into the business dealings of his organisation.
“[I will appear in the Senate] when they make the correct call-up,” said Nunes. The CPI erred administratively in requesting Nunes to appear before the CPI, according to Nunes and his defense counsel.
Nunes has always maintained that there is no such thing as corruption in football. Since his bold statement, the football administrator has, however, refused to grant any interviews. At the moment Nunes is a nightwatchman at the CBF, replacing Marco Polo del Nero, who has been indicted by the FBI on accusations of corruption. Del Nero is also under investigation from FIFA’s ethics committee.
During Dunga’s press conference, Nunes flatly refused to respond to a question asking if he would spontaneously appear before the CPI or if he feels constrained by senator Romario’s declaration that he would request the federal police’s assistance to get Nunes to Brasilia.
Nunes’s stance underlines the CBF’s dislike for the CPI. The CBF is a private entity and, for many years, has conducted its business and daily management on an independent basis. Since the global FIFA scandal, Brazilian authorities have upped the pressure on the CBF to reform.
Romario, the footballer turned senator, has been at the forefront of the crusade against the CBF. The CBF manage the domestic Brazilian league and the Brazilian national team.
“We have invited him twice, we have asked him different times but he feels above any given situation, in particular the law,” confided Romario to Agencia Senado. “I have always said it and I will repeat it: this is a serious CPI and it was envisaged as such.”
In response to Romario’s request for federal aid, the federal justice department of Pará has, in the meantime, requested Nunes to appear before the CPI on March 16 with possible imposition of coercive force.
The March 16 session of the CPI will also evaluate the roles of other football administrators at the CBF. Rogerio Caboclo, Walter Feldman, Antonio da Costa, Ariberto Filho and Julio Avelleda may all be requested to appear before the CPI. Former CBF strongman Ricardo Teixeira is also on the CPI’s radar.
The CPI has a mandate to investigate corruption in Brazilian football, and in particular at the CBF, until August 2016.
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