How corruption and football are connected in Brazil

world cup brazilian football corruption

Brazilian football is run by corrupt men. Photo: Fauzan Saari

The Brazilian Football Association (CBF) was created in 1914, back when football was an amateur game. In 1950, when Brazil hosted the World Cup for the first time, six teams from Europe and Asia forfeited the invitation owing to a lack of money to be able to make the trip. Soon, however, football became the world’s most popular sport – and a multi-billion-dollar industry to boot. In 2014, when Brazil hosted its second World Cup, FIFA, the governing body of world football which describes itself as being “not for profit,” had a turnover of USD 5 billion.

But compliance practices have not evolved since the early days of the CBF, which means that they remain practically nonexistent. While the world has changed, Brazilian football remains ruled by authoritarian, outdated and opaque business models. An equation that mixes an abundance of money with a lack of checks and balances can only result in one thing: corruption.

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About the author

Maria Martha Bruno

Maria Martha is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has already collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others. She has also worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.