Brazil's Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo Wants To Overhaul Country's Football Calendar
Brazil's sports minister Aldo Rebelo "has reiterated his desire to overhaul the country's football calendar in a bid to revitalize its foundering domestic competitions," according to XINHUA. Rebelo "has set the government on a collision course with the Brazilian Football Confederation" and highlighted "how political maneuvering can shape sport in South America's biggest country." Rebelo said that "it was time Brazil acted to stop the vacuum of home grown talent to European clubs." Rebelo: "We are a country that has participated in every World Cup and that has won the tournament five times, more than any other team. But we have only two percent of football's financial wealth while England has more than 30 percent and Germany 23 percent." The government last week "announced the formation of a football task force charged with addressing the dire financial plight of local clubs." The initiative, "which includes a proposal to cap player salaries," could see the government waive taxes of up to $1B currently owed by clubs to Brazil's treasury. There are also increasing calls for the reduction -- or even abolition -- of Brazil's state championships, "which last almost five months despite drawing dismal crowds and television ratings" (XINHUA, 4/30).