RIO DE JANEIRO: The president of the Brazilian football confederation will lead the national team delegation abroad this week for the first time in a year writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Antonio Carlos Nunes, promoted from senior vice-president earlier this year after scandal-hit Marco Polo Del Nero finally stepped aside, is travelling with the squad and officials in Asuncion for tomorrow’s 2018 World Cup qualifier.

The last time senior CBF leaders attended an away match was when then president Jose Maria Marin and Del Nero travelled to Europe for friendly matches against France and Chile in March last year.

Marin was then arrested by Swiss police on a United States extradition warrant in Zurich last May. Del Nero, who was also in Zurich, flew home immediately without waiting for FIFA Congress the following day.

Since then Del Nero has refused to travel outside his homeland from which, as a Brazilian citizen, he is protected from extradition. This meant he missed the Copa America in Chile last summer and other away matches.

His absence from away games was one of the factors amid the escalating pressure which forced Del Nero to relinquish his CBF leadership and membership of the executive committee of world federation FIFA.

He has subsequently been placed under indictment by the US authorities on corruption charges. He has denied any wrongdoing.