FIFA, the global soccer governing body, has issued a stern warning, threatening to bar Brazil’s national teams and clubs from international competitions if the country’s football federation (CBF) proceeds with an election for a new president in January, following the removal of Ednaldo Rodrigues due to election irregularities.
In a letter directed to a Brazilian football executive, FIFA emphasized that the CBF’s potential disregard of its call to postpone the election and instead wait could result in a suspension. The Rio de Janeiro court had ousted Rodrigues and his appointees from office on December 7, a decision upheld by Brazil’s highest courts last week.
This ruling poses challenges for Brazil’s bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup and the pursuit of hiring Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti for the national team in the upcoming year. FIFA has a historical stance against external interference in its member associations, putting Brazil’s participation in major competitions at risk until the situation is resolved.
The letter, signed by FIFA’s Kenny Jean-Marie and CONMEBOL’s Monserrat Jiménez Garcia, underscores the formation of a commission by FIFA and CONMEBOL to discuss the matter in Brazil on January 8. It strongly emphasizes that no decisions affecting the CBF, including elections, should occur until the commission’s mission is complete.
FIFA’s warning states, “Should this not be respected, FIFA will have no other option but to submit the matter to its relevant decision-making body for consideration and decision, which might also include a suspension.”
The document outlines the potential consequences of a suspension, highlighting the loss of all membership rights by the CBF and the ineligibility of its representative and club teams to participate in international competitions during the suspension.
The warning also emphasizes that any undue interference in member associations can result in sanctions outlined in the FIFA Statutes, even if the third-party influence is not the fault of the concerned member association.
In response, José Perdiz, appointed by the court to organize new elections within 30 working days, views FIFA’s letter as a positive sign and pledges to conduct the elections with transparency and integrity within the specified deadline. The unfolding events underscore the delicate balance between legal interventions and FIFA’s insistence on non-interference in the internal affairs of its member associations.