RIO DE JANEIRO: Ricardo Teixeira flew to Miami on a private jet as pressure built up on the besieged Brazilian football supremo with questions over why his daughter was paid £1.4m last year by the Barcelona president Sandro Rosell writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Teixeira was planning to meet up in Florida with his wife and daughter Antonia. Unconfirmed speculation in the Rio de Janeiro media claimed that he was planning to sell property and business interests back home.
As for the latest controversy, the man who is still president of the Brazilian football confederation and the 2014 World Cup local organising committee had close business links a decade ago with Rosell when the latter was in charge of Nike’s multi-million sponsorship of the national team.
Teixeira and Rosell have both been named this week with reference to allegations of fraud concerning a friendly match between Brazil and Portugal in Brasilia in November 2008. The Folha newspaper of Sao Paulo has claimed serious over-charging to the regional governor who had, in effect, underwritten the costs of the game which added up eventually to around £3.3m.
VSV, A subsidiary of the Ailanto marketing company which organised the match, had its business registered at the address of a farm owned by Teixeria some 50 miles outside Rio de Janeiro. Business was conducted on its behalf by Vanessa Precht, then an aide of Rosell.
The latest questions over Teixeira’s affairs and credibility have been raised by a long-time critic, the investigative sports journalist Juca Kfouri. He has claimed that in June last year Rosell made a payment of £1.4m to Teixeira’s daughter, Antonio Wigand Teixeira.
Folha is linking this to a report that Teixeira, last year, made changes to the structure of his main company, RLJ Equity, “in an attempt to distance or hide links to the ISL case.”
Simultaneously, lawyers representing Teixeira have applied in a court in Rio to have a stalled investigation into allegations of money-laundering halted permanently.
The investigation, by the fraud squad at the behest of the public prosecutor, concerns allegations over the importation into Brazil of proceeds from a Liechtenstein company linked with the long-bankrupt FIFA marketing partner ISL.
Teixeira’s name is widely reported to be on an ‘illicit payments’ list contained in a Swiss court file on the ISL case. His former father-in-law, ex-FIFA president Joao Havelange, recently resigned from the IOC ahead of an inquiry into his own personal, financial links with ISL.
The CBF has formally denied speculation that Teixeira is preparing to announce his resignation from all his football roles. Spokesman Rodrigo Pavia said: “Teixeira is here and working, just as I am. If there were any different situation, I would tell you.”