BRASILIA: Romario, former World Cup-winner and now political goal-scorer, has been voted in to the powerful role as president of the Brazilian Sports and Tourism commission.

This gives Romario, one of the most voluble and fearless critics of the Brazilian football confederation in particular, a formal stage on which to continue pressing his demands for transparency and reform ahead of next year’s World Cup finals.

The commission, set up in 2003, has a central role in developing legislative policy and liaison work between sports authorities, government and grassroots.

Significangtly it also has a supervisory role on the allocation of state funds for sports and, in particular, Olympic projects. Rio hosts the Olympic Games in 2016.

Romario said: “I will give exactly the same commitment and dedication to this responsibility as I did to the various clubs in my playing career and the national team of Brazil.”

He added: “Many people have claimed that I am opposed to the success of the World Cup but it’s quite the opposite. All I want is that everything runs well and that the World Cup and Olympics leave a significant legacy for the Brazilian people.”

This is Romario’s first formal lead appointment since he became a member of the lower house though he has served on several committees.


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