RIO DE JANEIRO: Ricardo Teixeira, symbol of so much deemed outrageous in football’s international corridors of power, has quit the twin peaks of his Brazilian stronghold, writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Last week Teixeira had signalled to close friends that he intended taking a third leave of absence on the grounds of ill health within six months.
Without down-playing the health issue this appears to have served as a diplomatic cover to smooth his preparation for departure as president of both the Brazilian football confederation and of the 2014 World Cup local organising authority.
He remains a member of the executive committee of world federation FIFA.
While Teixeira cannot be blamed for the preparation delays which have blasted a schism between FIFA and the Brazilian government, his ill-starred presence has proved an unnecessary distraction.
The 64-year-old tendered his resignation in a letter read out to reporters at the Rio de Janeiro headquarters of the CBF. He said: “I leave the presidency of the CBF definitively with the feeling of having done my duty.
“It’s not easy to preside over a passion. Football in our country is associated with two things: talent and disorganisation. When we win talent is praised. When we lose, it’s about disorganisation. I did what was within my reach, sacrificing my health. I was criticised in the losses and undervalued in the victories.”
Teixeira added again that he was standing down for health reasons. Last week he took a temporary leave of absence for treatment for diverticulitis, a bowel condition.
He will be succeeded in both posts by Jose Maria Marin, a 79-year-old former politician who is the senior vice-president of the CBF. Marin could run the CBF until early 2015, when Teixeira’s term was set to end, but that prospect is likely to prompt an internal power struggle.
The organizing authority will now be led by Marin plus former World Cup-winning forwards Ronaldo and Bebeto. Ronaldo was appointed before Christmas as a ‘public face’ of COL rather than Teixeira while Bebeto came on board earlier this year.
His exit has also removed one of many irritants in the strained relations between FIFA and Brazil.
Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo was infuriated when, 10 days ago, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke – FIFA’s World Cup overseer – said that Brazil needed “a kick up the backside” over its preparations. The essential World Cup Law has yet to be approved by parliament while infrastructural preparations including airports and stadia are running badly behind time.
Valcke and FIFA president Sepp Blatter have apologized for the manner of Valcke’s words but repeated their concerns over Brazil’s tardiness. Valcke postponed his scheduled visit to Brazil this week pending a ‘summit’ meeting later this month between Blatter and Rousseff.
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