Bastos takes early lead over Zweiter in CBF elections as FIFA readies to send observers

Brazil eye

January 2 – Brazil’s football presidential football elections are shaping up to be a two-horse race between Reinaldo Carneiro Bastos and Flavio Zweiter. FIFA, however, is sending a team to investigate the rudderless Confederation of Brazilian (CBF) as a signal that it won’t tolerate third-party interference in the running of the federation. 

Thirty clubs and eight state federations are backing Bastos, the president of the Sao Paulo Football Federation (FPF), to succeed Ednaldo Rodrigues who was removed from his role as CBF president following a court order. A former CBF vice-president, Zweiter has also now declared as a contender for the presidency.

To be eligible, a candidate requires the support of eight state federations and five clubs. In a potential election, federations’ votes carry the weight of three, clubs of the Serie A two and Serie B one. With all the federations and clubs that have expressed support to date, Bastos would have 67 of 141 votes.

In a statement, Bastos’s supporters said that “for at least a decade, Brazilian Football has been bleeding. Removed or banned, none of the last five presidents of the CBF finished their term. Football suffers, as never before, from external interference that disrupts the sport’s already complex environment, under the pretext of dubious individual interests.”

It continued: “We make ourselves available to FIFA and CONMEBOL, who, attentively, will come to Brazil next month to monitor the electoral process that will be held. We will be united to support the fairness and transparency of this process so that Brazilian Football can get out of this regrettable situation in which it finds itself once and for all.”

On the sidelines of the recent Club World Cup, FIFA however made it clear that it won’t tolerate meddling in Brazil’s football affairs by a third party. This month the governing body is to send a team to Brazil. However, suspension of the CBF, one of the world’s most important member associations, for political interference, one of FIFA’s favourite sticks to keep federations ‘compliant’, is unlikely.

In December, a Rio court annulled an assembly of the organisation held in 2022 in which Rodrigues was elected CBF president, naming the president of the Superior Court of Sports Justice José Perdiz as the CBF’s interim head. He was tasked with organising fresh elections within 30 days.

At the time FIFA said: “We would like to remind CBF that FIFA member associations are obliged to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from third parties, including any state authorities.”

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