Ricardo Teixeira Quits Position as Head of Brazil 2014

By Community | March 13, 2012

Brazilian Football Confederation boss and head of the organizing committee for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Ricardo Teixeira, has left his roles following a string of corruption scandals.

He tendered his resignation in a letter that was read out to reporters at the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).

“I leave the presidency of the CBF definitively with the feeling of having done my duty,” Teixeira said in the letter.

Teixeira, 64, said he was standing down for health reasons, just days after he requested a temporary medical leave of absence to treat diverticulitis, a painful bowel condition.

He is succeeded by Jose Maria Marin, 79, a former politician who is little known outside the closed world of the CBF. Teixeira has run the CBF since 1989 and turned it into a vastly profitable commercial enterprise. Brazil had not won the World Cup for 19 years when he took over but have since lifted it twice, in 1994 and 2002.

However, despite the successes on and off the field, Teixeira’s tenure has frequently been overshadowed by allegations of corruption and shady business dealings.

In 2001, a Congressional investigation accused him of 13 crimes ranging from tax evasion to money laundering to misleading lawmakers, although no charges were ever brought.

Last year, the former head of the English Football Association David Triesman said Teixeira offered to back England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup in return for favours.

In February, the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper said a company linked to Teixeira overcharged the organisers of a November 2008 friendly match between Brazil and Portugal.

Teixeira has denied wrongdoing in all cases.

Teixeira’s resignation means that Marin and two former footballers, Ronaldo and Bebeto, are now charged with organizing one of sport’s biggest events.

Ronaldo and Bebeto, both World Cup winners, were appointed to the committee in recent months despite having little experience in the field.

The tournament has been beset by delays and questions ever since Brazil won the right to host it in October 2007. Although most of the 12 stadiums are on schedule, several are over budget and being built with taxpayer money.

More worrying is the state of transportation infrastructure, especially airports.

Brazil’s antiquated airports are not capable of handling the expected influx of 600,000 fans and authorities have been slow to build new airports and expand the existing ones.

by Ismail Uddin