RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian football has taken the first significant step forward since Ricardo Teixeira’s departure freed the decision-making logjam over the immediate challenges writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
Jose Maria Marin, installed as acting president of the Brazilian football confederation after Teixeira’s scandal-driven exit two weeks ago, has agreed that the country will delay its scheduled 2015 hosting of the Copa America to 2019.
Brazil faces enormous problems over its preparations for the 2013 Confederations Cup, the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Teixeira had always insisted, defying commonsense, that Brazil would also welcome the rest of South American football in 2015. Now Marin’s CBF has conceded this is out of the question.
Thus Chile, which had been the designated host in 2019, will take over 2015 with the Copa America being staged in Brazil four years later. Chile has not hosted the Copa America since 1991 and the right to host the tournament is now based upon an alphabetical rotation among the list of the 10 members of the South American confederation (CONMEBOL).
Chilean federation president Sergio Jadue, on his return to Santiago from Rio late last night, said: “I’m just back from Brazil where we decided to switch the dates. In 2015 the Copa will be in our country and in 2019 it will be in Brazil.”
Uruguay are current South American champions. They beat Paraguay 3-0 in last year’s final in Argentina.
Meanwhile Mano Menezes, Brazil’s head coach, has said that he was been handed a warning by Marin that convincing results are expected in the forthcoming friendlies as well as in the 2012 Olympic Games or he will be replaced.
Brazil play four friendly matches leading up to London 2012 in which Menezes will use some of his likely London players – including the Santos striker, Neymar, who is current South American Footballer of the Year.
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