“My current utopia for Brazil," tweeted commentator Mauricio Santoro, "a country in which all of our institutions function as well as our women’s team.” Few will expect Brazilian institutions will change, beginning with Brazilian soccer, which is run by the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol, the notorious CBF.
Joao Havelange made his mark as president of the CBF during the rise of the great Brazil teams, World Cup champions in 1958, 1962 and 1970, before becoming FIFA president in 1974. Now 100, he lives in Rio, and his name graces the Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange -- a strange honor for a man stripped of his title of honorary FIFA presidency for taking millions of dollars in the ISL scandals.
Also caught with his hand in the cookie jar: Havelange's former son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira, the CBF president for 14 years (1989-2012) until his resignation in 2012. Teixeira was only one of many South American federation heads indicted in the FIFA scandals on charges of widespread corruption.
Among the others were both of Teixeira's successors at the head of the CBF: Jose Maria Marin and Marco Polo del Nero. Marin was arrested in May 2015 by Swiss authorities and extradited to New York, where he is under house arrest while awaiting trial. Del Nero was also in Zurich in May 2015 when arrests were made on the eve of the FIFA Congress and he immediately flew home to Brazil. Del Nero was a wise man: He was indicted in December 2015 but remains free because Brazil doesn't extradite its own citizens to other nations.
Amazingly, del Nero is still the CBF president, and that created one of the awkward moments for FIFA at the Rio Olympics when its new president, Gianni Infantino, met with del Nero. Only now have FIFA ethics investigators confirmed they are formally investigating del Nero, who faces racketeering and money laundering charges in Federal court.
Women's soccer has enough problems in Brazil overcoming years of neglect and sexist stereotypes without having a national association that is corrupt and incompetent.