January 9 – FIFA will not sanction Brazil for political interference in the running of the federation after the return last week of Ednaldo Rodrigues to the CBF presidency, FIFA’s director of legal affairs Emilio Garcia has said.
A Rio court last month removed Rodrigues from his post over concerns about the electoral process that saw his election. The court installed lawyer and government sports advisor José Perdiz in Rodrigues’ place with a mandate to stage fresh elections, but Supreme Court Minister Gilmar Mendes last week ordered Rodrigues’s return arguing that Brazil could face suspension from the Olympic qualifiers.
“We are relieved by the Supreme Court’s decision, which restores the presidency of Ednaldo on the basis of a free and democratic decision by Brazilian football,” said Garcia.
“We’re happy that we’re back to the original situation in which Brazilian football elected its president. Brazilian football was at very high risk of being expelled from international competitions. That was ruled out for the moment after the Supreme Court decision and is no longer on the table,” he added.
CBF president Rodrigues thanked FIFA and South American governing body Conmebol for their support.
“This is the moment that restores normality to Brazilian football and we have many commitments for our calendar. From now on we want to concentrate on the development of Brazilian football,” said Rodrigues.
“I was elected in a clear and transparent way. Brazilian football wins when its autonomy is restored. We can now be sure that Brazil’s clubs and national teams will take part in international competitions.”
FIFA had repeatedly said that it would not tolerate third-party interference in Brazil. Elected until 2026 as CBF chairman, Rodrigues is also a FIFA Council member.
With Rodrigues firmly back in his seat, a potential electoral race between Reinaldo Bastos and Flavio Zweiter has been ruled out.
“We have closed the electoral process,” said Bastos following a meeting at the CBF. “This no longer exists. It’s a matter of the past. The 27 federations contribute to football, with changes, with new methods. It was a very frank conversation, very cool, it helped us start looking forward to today.”
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