The president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), Ednaldo Rodrigues, one of the sport’s most powerful figures in football-mad Brazil, was stripped of the job by a court ruling Thursday amid a messy legal battle.
— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) December 7, 2023
Rodrigues, the first black president in CBF history, had been a key figure in negotiating with Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti to take over coaching the Brazilian national team, and his departure opens new question marks over the future of the struggling five-time World Cup champions.
The Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice’s 21st chamber said it had ordered the CBF to hold a new presidential election within 30 days. It appointed the head of Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice for Sport as administrator of the football body in the interim.
The court threw out a 2022 deal between the CBF and Rio prosecutors that had paved the way for Rodrigues’s election to lead the body until 2026.
It ruled prosecutors had overstepped their authority in making the deal.
The case dates back to 2017, when the CBF changed its election rules without consulting representatives of Brazil’s top-flight clubs, whose voting power was weakened.
The winner of the ensuing presidential election, Rogerio Caboclo, was sacked from the job in 2021 over sexual harassment accusations — later thrown out by a judge.
Rodrigues was named his interim replacement.
A Rio court meanwhile annulled Caboclo’s election because of the rule change, and Rodrigues won the substitute vote — now also invalidated by the court.
The ruling comes at a delicate time for the CBF, which is struggling to restore the Brazilian national team to its glory days amid a string of poor results, including a humiliating three straight losses in their latest 2026 World Cup qualifiers.
The CBF did not immediately respond to requests for comment from AFP. Brazilian media reports said it planned to appeal the ruling.
As speculation swirled over possible manipulation behind the scenes in Brazil’s sometimes corruption-stained football world, FIFA said in a letter to the CBF that it could face sanctions if it was shown to be allowing external interference in its internal affairs.
© Agence France-Presse