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Ritesh Gogineni
Editor/Founder of The False 9.

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A Guide to Corruption in Brazilian Football

Corruption in Brazil as a whole

According to the World Economic Forum, out of the 138 nations researched, Brazil is the 4th most corrupt nation in the world.

It is a historical and cultural problem that began with the Portuguese Colonization in Brazil.

Of course, that problem is also part of football.


Corruption in CBF(Confederação Brasileira de Futebol)

João Havelange and the Brazilian military dictatorship

The Brazil President back then, Arthur Costa e Silva, met João Havelange, president of the CBD (currently CBF) and they signed an agreement providing state investment in domestic football.

The military would benefit in the sense of connecting the success of the Brazilian National Team with the Military Dictatorship and in this way would receive approval of the Brazilian people. To Havelange, the agreeement would be the necessary support to reach his personal goal: Become the president of FIFA.

João Havelange used the money from the military dictatorship to become president of FIFA, but that does not mean that the dictatorship gave money directly to this end, it didn’t. The government investment in the Seleção and Brazilian football, in general, was a golden chance for Havelange to obtain a robust financial support enough to run his projects with a view to winning the post of president of the International Federation. The strategy was to use Brazilian football and its biggest star, the “King Pelé”, as a bargaining chip to obtain the votes of third world countries.

Del Nero, Marin and Ricardo Teixeira

Corruption schemes in CBF received 120 million reais, says FBI. This is the value of the sum of fees paid to Del Nero, Marin and Ricardo Teixeira – the last three of the entity presidents.

Marco Polo del Nero, José Maria Marin and Ricardo Teixeira set up a corrupt scheme that raised at least R$ 120 million in fees.

What are these schemes?

The first one involves the broadcasting rights of Copa América of the years 2015, 2019 and 2023, and also the Centenario edition. Datisa, a company formed by Traffic, bought the broadcasting rights of the four editions of the Copa America for $352.5 million and would have agreed to pay another $110 million in bribes to the presidents of the South American federations, $20 million by signing the contract, $20 million for each of the 2015, 2019 and 2023 editions and another $30 million for the special Centenário edition. Out of the $110 million, $40 million had already been paid and Marin would have pocketed $6 million.

The second one involves the Brazilian Cup, where Traffic paid Marin and two other officers of the CBF 2 million reais per year for the broadcasting rights of the competition. According to the FBI complaint, in 2014 Marin met J. Hawilla (Traffic’s President) and was asked about the need for the fee continue flowing to its predecessor in CBF (Ricardo Teixeira). “‘It is time to come toward us” [the bribe]. Right or wrong?” J. Hawilla agreed saying “Of course, of course. This money has to be given to you.” Marin agreed: “Yes, That’s right”.

Nike and CBF contract

Ricardo Teixeira and J. Hawilla negotiated a contract with Nike for the American company to become the supplier of sports equipment of the Brazilian National Team. Done in 1996 and valid for ten years, the contract was valued at $ 160 million. Out of this value, $40 milion were supposed to be sent to Traffic by Nike, but only $30 milion arrived to the bank account of the company in Switzerland. Half of that money was sent to Texeira, says J. Hawilla.


“Máfia do Apito”, The Whistle Mafia

23 September 2005. News broke out a massive scheme of bribery in the principal tournament of football in Brazil. Referees were manipulating match results to favour betters profiting from the ordered scores. They received about 10 thousand reais for each match defrauded.

11 matches had to be replayed:

Date Annulled Match Score Date of the Match Replay Score of the Match Replay
May 8 Vasco – Botafogo 0–1 October 19 1–0
July 2 Ponte Preta – São Paulo 1–0 October 19 2–0
July 16 Paysandu – Cruzeiro 1–2 October 19 4–1
July 24 Juventude – Figueirense 1–4 October 19 2–2
July 31 Santos – Corinthians 4–2 October 13 2–3
August 7 Vasco – Figueirense 2–1 October 12 3–3
August 10 Cruzeiro – Botafogo 4–1 October 12 2–2
August 14 Juventude – Fluminense 2–0 October 12 3–4
August 21 Internacional – Coritiba 3–2 October 28 3–2
September 7 São Paulo – Corinthians 3–2 October 24 1–1
September 10 Fluminense – Brasiliense 3–0 October 24 1–1

All of those matches were refereed by Edílson Pereira de Carvalho, the principal referee involved. He was arrested in 24 September 2005 and banned for life from the sport. The entrepreneur Nagib Fayad, the mentor of the scheme, was also arrested.

The replayed matches changed the champion of Brasileirão 2005, which would have been Internacional, but it was Corinthians instead.

Corinthians 1-1 Internacional, 40th round

Corinthians and Inter were running for the title in 2005 with two matches left. Tevez opened the score, and Rafael Sobis drew for Inter in the 2nd half. The polemic in the game was a penalty not given to Inter late in the game, instead, a 2nd yellow card was given to Tinga for simulation.


Bom Senso Futebol Clube (Common Sense Football Club)

This isn’t really a case of corruption, but I found out it would be interesting to share, since it was a movement created by Brazilian Players in 2013 to protest against CBF.

The movement demands better conditions in Brazilian football, it began after CBF released the calendar of the Brazilian Football season in 2014. The players wanted more time of holidays, and more space between one game to the other, since in Brazil, we play far too many games in a single year.

The demonstrations:

For a football better to everyone

Friends of CBF, what about Common Sense?

Players pass the ball to each other in Common Sense Protest

Players sit on the field before kick off

Players with the arms folded before kick off

CBF and FPF, the scum of football

-By Reddit user /u/darknightseven

This post first appeared on r/soccer

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