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December 28, 2023

CBF Elections and Football in Brazil

…with Change comes Opportunity, but it is Change that we must first Guarantee

Brazilian football is experiencing yet another moment of political upheaval on the eve of an election that will decide the new President of the CBF. This untimely crisis is, in fact, a window of opportunity for clubs and federations to set a course for the future, for all of Brazil, based on new leadership and modern ideas. Never before has Brazil football been faced with so many exciting challenges that create an opportunity for true prosperity.  With the creation of a unified league, the consolidation and marketing of collective media rights, and the technology-driven opportunity to export Brazilian football to global audiences, the eyes of the World are upon us…and we cannot afford to get this wrong.


Speaking just for Botafogo, I can say this…We will not vote as a ‘block’. We will not be pressured into alliances that do nothing more than perpetuate the politics and the policies of old. We are the Most Traditional club of Brazil, yes, but some traditions really need to die…and the concentration of power that has allowed Brazil to fall behind the rest of the football world should not be given a chance to set our course into the future.


Now is the time for change, for new ideas. It is time to elect leaders that bring a global vision, people that have the skills to re-establish Brazil football among the most respected in the world…for the commercial benefit for our clubs-in-need and, mostly, for our national pride. 


I look forward to traveling to Brazil in the coming days to discuss our hopes and ambitions for Brazil, as one club among many, with the individuals who have asked for the power to lead. We will make our decision based on what we hear on the following topics…


  • Will the CBF commit to total transparency of decision-making processes that involve all constituents, federations and clubs, with reasonable consultation periods that assure widespread input and majority-rule?


  • Will the CBF commit to implement and uphold the highest standards, and best practices, of anti-corruption methodologies?


  • Will the CBF commit to increased pay, increased training and a full-time employment model for all Serie A and Serie B referees?


  • Will the CBF install strict quality control standards to assure that all referees act, consistently and continuously, in accordance with FIFA Laws of the Game?


  • Will the CBF further subject itself, in the management and performance of referees, to weekly independent review?


  • Will the CBF adopt strict anti-corruption practices, employing all tools available under the laws of Brazil, to identify, prosecute and punish game officials, club officials, game participants and third-party actors that act, in any way, to violate corruption laws or compromise the integrity of Brazil football?

  • Will the CBF work, aggressively and constructively, to bring clubs and federations together, in support of a unified professional league, operated by clubs and supervised by the CBF?


  • Will the CBF endeavor to hire professionals, under new leadership, that have the skills to keep pace with rapidly evolving standards of governance, media, communications, technology and commercialization?


  • Is the proposed new leadership of the CBF truly ready for the future?


We are only one vote, but these are the questions that Botafogo hopes to have answered as we make our decision. We are incredibly excited by the opportunity presented by this election. We believe the candidate that best answers the above questions will be the best person to position Brazil football at the very highest standard in the world of self-governance.  Quality that is guaranteed in every action of the CBF will result in the highest quality of our game on the field.


Again, we will vote for Botafogo, which means we will vote for Brazil. We are the Glorious and we are the Most Traditional, but we will not vote for tradition this time…We are here to Set Fire.

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