RIO DE JANEIRO: Ricardo Teixeira had barely been back at work a fortnight after his 40-day ‘leave of absence from all football duties’ than he has found himself assailed by a new samba of controversy writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Teixeira may have hoped that the ending of an investigation into money-laundering allegations and a freezing of attempts to open up the contentious ISL court file would have allowed him to make a fresh start in his various roles.
He is president of the Brazilian football confederation, long-serving member of the FIFA executive and still the effective head of the 2014 World Cup local organising committee.
Instead he faces renewed allegations over the murky finances surrounding Brazil’s 6-2 friendly win over Portugal on November 22, 2008, in Brasilia.
Senior public officials in various government ministries have been forced to resign in the last six months because of over-pricing fraud allegations and, in effect, these are now being levelled at Teixeira.
The match had been the source of concern but investigations appeared to have hit a dead-end. Now they have been revived after inquiries by the Folha newspaper of Sao Paulo into a now-defunct marketing company, Ailanto and its subsidiary, VSV, whose registered address had been a farm owned by Teixeira some 50 miles outside Rio de Janeiro.
One of the key figures in Ailanto, according to Folha, was Sandro Rosell – now the president of world, European and Spanish champions Barcelona – and who had become a friend and business colleague of Teixeira when heading up Nike’s sponsorship of the Brazil national team.
Folha claims that the hotel costs charged to the organisers – in effect the state governor’s office – were significantly above the rates current at the time.
Teixeira, responding to questions from Folha about a reported 12 financial irregularities in the match contract, has said that all incomes had been properly registered with the tax authorities.
Rosell’s name surfaced in relation to his old friend’s operations last autumn amid allegations in the media about the sale and purchase of a private Cessna aircraft from the TAM internal airline in a deal involving one of Teixeira’s companies.