SI.com, Thursday, January 21, 2010 12 PM
explains why the Brazilian league format, which still includes 27 state championships, hurts the domestic game. The country as big as a continent is divided
into 27 states and its soccer structure is based not on the clubs, but on the various state federations.
"In such a huge country," writes Vickery, "these state
championships played a vital role in getting the game off the ground. Without them, Brazilian soccer wouldn't be the national force it is today. But they've outlived their usefulness. The big
clubs have become bigger and have their sights set higher, such as winning the Copa Libertadores and becoming champion of the continent.
"The small clubs have shrunk so much, they
barely exist. That the big and small clubs meet in a league format makes no sporting or financial sense. It only makes sense from the point of view of the power structure."
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