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WORLD: Brazil gives up home games
October 31st, 2006 10:22AM
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Brazil's globetrotting national team is cutting back on its travel, going so far as to cut out all home friendlies.

After the Brazilian soccer federation (CBF) signed a $369 million deal with Nike in 1996, Brazil toured the world, building its brand as soccer's most famous national team. But European clubs objected to the wear and tear on its Brazilian stars, particularly during South America's marathon World Cup qualifying tournament.

As part of a deal to drop their opposition to the 18-game World Cup qualifying system, European clubs got the CBF to agree to play all international friendlies in or near Europe.

CBF president Ricardo Teixeira told Brazilian reporters the agreement to only play friendlies within four or five hours' flying time of Europe would rule out friendly games at home.

''This makes it impossible for us to play in South America or Asia,'' he said.

In recent months, Brazil has played neighbor Argentina in London and Ecuador in Stockholm. The five-time world champions are unbeaten in five games -- four wins and a tie -- under new coach Dunga.

For the next game on Nov. 15 at Switzerland, only one home-based player was selected -- Santos reserve left back Carlinhos. The squad included players from nine different European countries: Spain (8 players), Germany (3), Italy (3), Portugal (2), England (1), France (1), Netherlands (1), Russia (1) and Ukraine (1).

Dunga has been using the games to give new players a look. For the Swiss game, Dunga has called up Diego, who has helped Werder Bremen open up a three-point lead in the German Bundesliga.


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