RIO DE JANEIRO: Old World Cup-winning hero Romario has returned to the attack over Brazil’s preparations for the 2014 World Cup finals and demanded that controversial Ricardo Teixeira walks away from all his football roles writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Teixeira, former son-in-law of long-time ex-FIFA president Joao Havelange, is president of the Brazilian federation, power behind the local World Cup organising committee and a member of the world federation’s much-criticised executive committeee.
He is also facing allegations of having enriched himself with illicit payments from ISL, the bankrupt former marketing partner of both FIFA and the International Olympic Committee.
Teixeira is currently taking a 40-day break from his duties on health grounds. Romario has said Teixeira should not return – at least, not until he has proved his innocence of all the accusations against him.
Romario, top scorer and top player when Brazil won the World Cup in the United States in 1994, also warned that delays in preparations had gone almost beyond repair.
In an interview with the Veja news magazine, Romario said: “If we continue the way things are, Brazil will suffer perhaps the greatest embarrassment in the history of the World Cup.
“We have problems with everything: stadia, airports, transportation. Also Brazil is not using the World Cup to create a legacy for health care, for education, for accessibility. We are really 100pc behind and we don’t have the competent authorities to enforce a change.
“As for Teixeira, we should thank him for bringing us the World Cup but now he faces several corruption issues within both FIFA and Brazil and elsewhere. If he left the CBF now that would be one problem solved.
“Teixeira thinks he should stay because nothing had been proved but I think he has to go – and if he will not go of his own free will then it would be up to the government to intervene.”