Brazil’s CBF to downsize state championships by two match days

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April 4 – The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) is considering a plan to downsize the regional state championships by at least two match days next season in order to avoid future conflicts with Brazilian national team fixtures.

The proposal is part of a package that CBF president-elect Rogerio Caboclo wants to table at the start of his reign, according to Brazilian media Lance. Caboclo will assume office next Tuesday, succeeding Coronel Nunes, who has largely been alienated from the game as a pro forma president.

Since last year the CBF has been negotiating with the state federations to reduce the length of the state championships, which form the beating heart of the season for hundreds of smaller clubs across Brazil, but have long reached their sell by date from a sporting and commercial point of view.

They occupy three months of the calendar year at the start of each Brazilian season and their lack of attractiveness has led Brazilian behemoth broadcaster Globo to complain to the CBF about the product on offer. Listening to Globo’s grievances, CBF’s director Manuel Flores proposed that the state championships be downsized by two match days and just contain sixteen rounds.

So far, the idea has not met much opposition from the state federations, except from FERJ in Rio de Janeiro. FERJ president Rubens Lopes argued that the clubs and state federations retain the right to decide the format of the state championships, that the new format would benefit some clubs over others and that the pool of players would become smaller. Sao Paulo’s federation, with the most important state championship, however, accepted the proposal.

The Brazilian calendar has long required an overhaul, but it seems the CBF’s objective is to protect Brazilian national team fixtures – Brazil often play friendlies or World Cup qualifiers in March.

Caboclo has other plans as well, contemplating the launch of advisory body composed of former greats of the Brazilian game, as he seeks to shed the CBF’s negative image. Three of his predecessors, Ricardo Teixeira, Jose Maria Marin and Marco Polo del Nero, have all been targeted by the US Justice Department indictments. It was del Nero, who refused to travel abroad with the national team as CBF president over fears of arrest, who supported Caboclo for election.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1582856424labto1582856424ofdlr1582856424owedi1582856424sni@o1582856424fni1582856424