BARCELONA: Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has formally denied ever benefiting from commissions for organising friendly matches for the Brazilian national team writes KEIR RADNEDGE.

Rosell was answering questions in a broadcast, recorded interview with Catalunya Radio to try to halt a growing swell of allegations over his links with disgraced former Brazilian football supremo Ricardo Teixeira.

Critics of Rosell had suggested that a Brazilian company he controlled, Ailanto, had processed monies from the city of Brasilia to finance a friendly between Brazil and Portugal in 2008.

The Brazilian media has also claimed that Teixeria had awarded another of Rosell’s companies with a significant percentage of the fees from all national team friendlies.

Rosell had then helped arrange for Teixeira, who fled Brazil for Miami 18 months ago, to assume residence in the Pyrenees tax haven of Andorra where a local bank held accounts in the name of the former FIFA exco member.

Club sponsor

The Barcelona president has highly complex links with marketing and finance companies not only in Brazil and the United States but also in the Gulf. Qatar Foundation is the major sponsor of the Spanish champions.

Rosell insisted, in the radio interview, that he had never received commissions for his promotional work before assuming the leadership of Barcelona but only ‘honorariums as appropriate.’

He rejected reports that he faced legal action in Brazil over the Portugal friendly or that he had deliberately not visited the country for fear of arrest.

He said he was speaking “for the first and last time” about his business life, his interests in Brazil and his relationship with Teixeira.