KEIR RADNEDGE in RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazilian Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo has acknowledged that the country’s football needs overhauling. Whether he will be the man to oversee that process after elections later this year is uncertain.

Rebelo was speaking in the aftermath of the World Cup semi-final demolition by Germany in Belo Horizonte and echoing comments from President Dilma Rousseff.

She had insisted that the economic base of the domestic game needed to be rebuilt so that clubs were no longer forced to sell their players to European club in an endless export boom. The problem for the government is that the Brazilian football confederation is a private institution which does not depend on state funding; hence leverage opportunities are minimal.

Brazil in Belo Horizonte . . . only tears for souvenirs

This did not prevent Rebelo from wishing for a Brazilian football revolution.

He said: “Brazilian football does need to undergo changes. The loss to Germany really exposes this need as more evident. But, even if this had not happened, I have always said that we should take the advantage of the World Cup which has seen stadia and training centres remodelled and we should make our utmost to increase the quality of the management of our clubs.

“Many analysts and critics of our football have mentioned that we have some problems which have to be faced.

Lost generation 

“We export prime raw material, not only our star players but those being developed. An important number of our athletes even among the under-15s are already playing abroad so we have to have better youth academies.”

Rebelo said that the government had already initiated talks with political leaders in congress about some form of legislation to impose greater accountability demands on clubs.

Rebelo tried to avoid drawing conclusive comparisons between Tuesday and the World Cup Final to Uruguay in Rio de Janeiro in 1950.

He said: “Obviously these are two lamentable events. The defeat against Uruguay was a final, the first Brazil had played and they had on their shoulders not only the decision of a World Cup that we were sure we should win.

“That squad was a constellation of star players. The defensive line was good, Bauer and in attacks Ziznho, Ademir and Jair were incredible players.

Defeat in context

“The team who lost to Germany is the national squad that people thought could become world champions but in the group stage they had a draw with Mexico then another draw with Chile so it wasn’t a big surprise that they lost to Germany.

“I was among those people who thought Brazil could beat Germany but in no normal match can one team score four goals in record time as happened.

“It was an accident but to analyse the causes of the accident is another story. It will be a deep scar in our football but the best reaction is to analyse the root causes of that disaster, learn the lessons and try to correct them so that this doesn’t happen again ad Brazil can again put its squad up in the status that it should have in world football.”

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