RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian domestic airline TAM is winding up a sponsorship of the football confederation closely connected with ex-CBF supreme Ricardo Teixeira writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

TAM has been one of the CBF’s main sponsors since 2007, paying around $6.5m a year in a deal which will lapse next year – a surprise decision considering the commercial potential of the country’s hosting of the World Cup in 2014.

Spokesman Carlos Teciano told local media: “TAM will no longer be the sponsoring entity during 2013, at a date to be set, and will therefore lose the exclusivity of being the official carrier of the Brazilian national team.

“The cost of sponsorship and activation rights will be redirected to marketing actions on sales and promotions in the aviation sector.”

TAM’s relationship with the CBF came under unwelcome scrutiny amid the heavy media scrutiny of the business and financial affairs of Teixeira who quit earlier this year after a controversial era in which he presided over CBF, was a member of the FIFA executive and chaired the 2014 World Cup local organising committee.

Paper trails from a string of dubious deals led back to Teixeira who has lived with his family in Miami since the start of the year but who is still thought to advise the CBF leadership.

One of the deals concerned the sale and purchase of  a private Cessna aircraft from TAM in a deal involving one of Teixeira’s companies.

TAM’s exit will reduce the CBF’s list of top tier partners to 10. Nike, Itau, Vivo, Guarana Antarctica, Seara, MasterCard, Nestle, Extra, Gillette and Volkswagen also sponsor the Confederation.

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