BRASILIA: Brazil’s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has called for a revamp of the country’s domestic football calendar in order for it to better compete with European leagues.

Rebelo’s call comes after the Brazilian government last week unveiled a football task force designed to improve the financial fortunes of local clubs.

The initiative includes a proposal to cap player salaries and could see the government waive taxes of up to US$1 billion currently owed by clubs to the treasury. It also plans to streamline the current calendar, which runs from January through to early December, and bring it line with European seasons. Brazilian clubs currently compete in a packed schedule which includes the Campeonato Brasileiro, Copa do Brasil, state championships and continental competitions.

Rebelo believes change is needed to address the talent drain from the Brazilian game to European leagues.

“We are a country that has participated in every World Cup and that has won the tournament five times, more than any other team,” he said. “But we have only 2% of football’s financial wealth while England has more than 30pc and Germany 23pc. Our clubs have missed out on international exposure and we need to make the most of the 2014 World Cup to change this panorama.”

However, the government’s proposals have already been shot down by the Brazilian Football Confederation.

Jose Maria Marin, its under-pressure president, said: “In addition to sounding like intervention, for not being the Minister of Sport’s duty to make changes to the calendar, the correct forums for this discussion are the CBF, the state federations and the clubs.”


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Thursday, May 2, 2013

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