CBF won’t block a new club-owned top tier league, says Rodrigues

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By Samindra Kunti in Doha

April 4 – The new president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) Ednaldo Rodrigues has confirmed that the governing body will leading clubs to form a new league, a move that gathered momentum last year as the CBF struggled with another institutional crisis. 

“We understand the following – in the ten most advanced centers in the world leagues (run by clubs) exist,” Rodrigues told Insideworldfootball on the sidelines of the Conmebol congress in the Qatari capital.

“The Brazilian law permits it, the statues of CBF, Conmebol and FIFA permit it. We have to manage the CBF, listening to the clubs a lot and understand what is the best for them. The CBF – instead of opposing – will be at the (clubs’) disposal to help with what is necessary so that the clubs can do the league.

“The CBF wants to position itself as a partner, as it understands that there will be many difficulties for the clubs at the start. The refereeing department must be totally independent, the tribunal for infringements of the rules must be independent.”

How far the CBF’s willingness to facilitate the launch of a new league will go is unclear.

“The ball is with the league,” says Rodrigues. “The CBF is at disposal, but we understand that the launch must be well thought – how it is going to be, how the details will be filled in. When you have a league that proposes a high investment and revenues for the clubs, we understand that it won’t just be for the elite, but for the entire system.”

Last year, a crisis at the CBF was a catalyst for the clubs to accelerate plans for a league owned by themselves. On the eve of the Copa America then CBF president Rogerio Caboclo was accused of sexual harassment. The Brazilian supremo was suspended and last month became the latest CBF president to exit the organisation in disgrace following his predecessors Ricardo Teixeira, Marco Polo del Nero and Jose Maria Marin.

It generated a broader consensus than ever among the clubs that it was time to move forward.

The idea for a breakaway league had been raised in the past, but never progressed. This time a number of (investment) groups have come forward to partner with the clubs to form the league, which remains under the umbrella of the CBF as the national gove4rning body.

Rodrigues’ support to facilitate the process is significant with CBF presidents in the past opposing a league operated by the clubs rather than regional or national bodies.

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