BRASILIA: Romario has maintained his attack on Jose Maria Marin in a further attack which, this time, also dragged Marco Polo del Nero into the firing line writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Romario, the 1994 World Cup-winning striker, is capitalising on his newly-elevated status as parliamentary tourism and sport commissioner. The lower house, at his request, will hold a debate about the relationship between football and the old military dictatorship.

Marin is veteran president of the Brazilian football confederation while CBF vice-president Del Nero took over as a FIFA exco member after scandal-ensnared Ricardo Teixeira fled Brazil last year.

Early this week Romario criticised Marin over the CBF’s approach to its lucrative, long-term sponsorship deal with Nike. His second salvo followed the discovery of recordings attributed to Marin.

The tapes apparently reveal Marin threatening (“in gangster-like language”) the two businessmen (Bruno and Walter Balsinelli) who own the BWA agency which controls retail outlets in many of Brazil’s major stadia.

Romario said the tapes also recorded Marin making dubious references to a politician who – “with the help of Del Nero” – wielded significant power within the law-making process in Congress.

Formally Romario then registered a request that the presiding officer initiate an inquiry into possible improper behaviour by the CBF.

He said: “We need clarity and transparency about the activeities of the major institution in our football and, above all, whether it is manipulating the Chamber of Deputies itself.”

Marin also faces increasing pressure over allegations that he was linked to leading figures in a previous military dictatorship who were responsible for the mysterious death of an investigative journalist.

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