Caboclo takes over at CBF promising ‘union and understanding’

By Samindra Kunti

April 18 – Rogerio Caboclo has been elected as the new president of the Brazilian Football Confederation CBF. He succeeds Marco Polo Del Nero, who remains suspended by FIFA and under investigation in the United States.

Caboclo, who held the role of CEO at the CBF has mandate taking him from April 2019 until April 2023, a consequence of the CBF’s particular calendar which only allows for the new president to assume office a year after the elections.

He will be the CBF’s 20th president, receiving 135 out of a possible 141 votes. All 27 state federations, including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, who had long resisted supporting Caboclo publicly, voted for the only candidate on the ballot.

A candidate needs the support of eight state federations and five clubs to be eligible to run. In the run-up to the elections, Caboclo enjoyed the support of 25 state federations and 37 clubs.

From the 20 top flight clubs Andres Sanchez, Corinthians’ president, spoiled his ballot form, Flamengo’s representative abstained and Atlético Paranaense didn’t send anyone to the elections.

“I begin by thanking all those who confided in me, who recognised my work and respected my track record,” said the new CBF chief. “The near unanimous support of the clubs and the unanimity of the federations has left me delighted and encouraged.”

“This is what I want to establish with the federations, the clubs, the directors and the administrators. A compromise, a pact, an obligation. Understand my ‘big thank you’ as an ‘We will be ever closer.’”

Caboclo delivered a timely message of approximation between Brazilian football’s principal stakeholders. He had been seen as alienating the domestic clubs during his presidential campaign, which was never challenged in earnest. Caboclo is considered to be Del Nero’s protege, handpicked by the discredited football official to succeed him as Brazil’s most powerful football administrator.

In May 2015 Del Nero famously fled Zurich to escape arrest as FIFAGate was unfolding. Last December the 76-year-old was suspended for 90 days pending the outcome of a FIFA ethics investigation. The world governing body’s ethics body then extended the suspension by 45 days.

In an email to Inside World Football, the CBF however emphasised that “there are strong grounds to believe that he [Caboclo]will continue working also in favor of Brazilian clubs.”

Following his election, Caboclo will also head the local organising committee of the 2019 Copa America, which Brazil will host with Qatar on the list of invitees to the expanded 16-team tournament.

“For my part, I promise a lot of work, an incessant search for union and understanding,” explained Caboclo. “Our management will be founded on two pillars: efficiency and integrity.”

At least, unlike his predecessor, this CBF president will travel outside of Brazil. This summer Caboclo will lead Brazil’s delegation at the World Cup finals in Russia.

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