Court returns Rodrigues to CBF over fears for Olympic status and 2027 WWC bid

January 5 – Ednaldo Rodrigues has returned to chair Brazilian football following a provisional order by Brazilian justice Minister Gilmar Mendes that overturned a previous court order removing him from the CBF presidency. 

Last month, a Rio court removed Rodrigues from his post and appointed the president of the Superior Court of Sports Justice José Perdiz to stage fresh elections within the next 30 days, with Reinaldo Bastos and Flavio Zweiter emerging as potential candidates. But on Thursday, Mendes reinstated Rodrigues, citing the risk of Brazil being barred by FIFA from taking part in the Olympic qualifying tournament.

“In this situation, there is a risk of imminent damage, since the registration of players from the Brazilian national team in the qualifying tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which must be completed by tomorrow, would be made unfeasible,” said Mendes.

Mendes’s decision comes following a petition by Brazil’s communist party, the PCdoB, and is provisional. It will require further scrutiny by Brazil’s supreme court. A FIFA Council member, Rodrigues had been elected until 2026, but the Rio court’s decision prompted a new institutional crisis at the CBF.

FIFA has let it be known repeatedly that they will not tolerate third-party interference. Next week, FIFA will dispatch a team to Brazil. Brazilian officials, local media report, have also expressed concern about the impact on Brazil’s bid to stage the 2027 Women’s World Cup, with the crisis at CBF not helping the country’s chances.

In the meantime, Rodrigues has moved to solve Brazil’s national team managerial crisis by targeting Dorival Junior, the current coach of Sao Paulo, for the job. Carlo Ancelotti had long been linked to the Brazil role, but he killed off those notions last week when he extended his contract with Real Madrid.

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