Brazil team selection fixed by secret Cayman company

A huge story coming out of Brazil yesterday. Allegations were published in a Brazilian newspaper that the former President of the Brazilian Football Federation, Ricardo Teixeira, was bribed so that he would sell the right to select the Brazilian football team to third party marketing companies.

The revelations were published yesterday in Estadao and appear to have come out as a result of a power struggle within the federation.

According to documents revealed by the newspaper Teixeira along with his father in law, Joao Havelange, the former President of FIFA, were paid $40m to allow an anonomyous company based in the Cayman Islands to select the Brazilian team (for more on Havelange’s history of corruption see an interview with Andrew Jennings).

One reason why the Caymans were used appears to be because of the secrecy the small island jurisdiction allows companies to get away with. For obvious reasons, no one was supposed to find out about this deal. Whoopsie!

The scam is alleged to have worked like this: Players were selected on the basis of their marketing value and not their current form. Penalties were paid by the Brazilian Football Federation if less high profile players were selected over more well known figures.

There have long been rumours, and more, of bribes being paid so that less skilled players would be capped for the national team - and their transfer value inflated accordingly. But nothing as sensational as the whole team being sold has emerged before.

Now most successful footballing nations, Germany for example, select their teams based on talent, skill, form, fitness, tactics and a number of other metrics assessed by professionals with years of experience in order to try and get the best result.

Perhaps this difference in approach is one reason why things like this happen:

A performance some might think a bit, eh, Scheidt.

© 2014