RIO DE JANEIRO: Ricardo Teixeira is back home. The former president of the Brazilian football confederation has put his luxury home in Sunset Island, Miami home, up for sale at $12m.
Teixeira was not among those named in the 14th initial corruption indictments handed down by the United States Justice Department last Wednesday.
However a close confidant Jose Maria Marin, Teixeira’s successor at the CBF, was detained at the Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich and is contesting an extradition application from the US.
Teixeira, ex-son-in-law of Joao Havelange and a former FIFA executive committee member, walked away from football under pressure of financial scandals in the spring of 2012.
However his prospects of a quiet self-exile in Miami were dashed by the US Justice swoops.
Teixeira spent much of the winter in the Mediterranean tax haven of Monte Carlo and then moved back to Brazil and another luxury home in a compound in Itanhanga, western Rio.
Other residents in the compound, which is protected by armed guards, include Brazil striker Fred.
Marco Polo Del Nero, who succeeded Marin as CBF president and is a member of the FIFA exco, flew home on Thursday night, before congress, for fear of being arrested on a US warrant.
Brazilian citizens cannot, under a clause in the national constitution, be extradited – thought to be one of the reasons Teixeira has returned home.
Teixeira was not among those charged by the US Justice Department but features in the indictment in a section referring to Marin’s activities surrounding the Copa do Brasil: “At one point co-conspirator No2 sdked whether it was really necessary to continue to pay bribes to Marin’s predecessor as CBF president [Teixeira].”
Del Nero, immediately after Marin’s arrest, had said in Switzerland that any irregularities had been committed under the previous regime i.e. that of Teixeira.
Justice sources have also indicated that investigations continue into the circumstances of the multi-million sponsorship of the Brazilian national team by Nike. This was negotiated in the 1990s, for the CBF, by Teixeira.
Brazilian reaction to the justice actions in Zurich and New York has been swift. The former World Cup-winner Romario, now a senator, has obtained the signatures necessary to launch a parliamentary inquiry into the CBF.
Romario said: “If the inquiry goes ahead then many of those who have harmed our football will pay for their crimes. Hopefully that could include Del Nero. Teixeira too. They deserve to be a cell along with Marin.”
Marin, who is 83, is appealing in Zurich to be freed on bail on health grounds.