Romario wants Brazilian federation chief to resign
Brazilian congressman Romario is calling for the resignation of
the national football federation president for his alleged links to
the country’s military dictatorship.
Romario, a former Brazil striker, handed over a petition
featuring nearly 55,000 signatures to the federation and other
entities Monday demanding that Jose Maria Marin quits to avoid an
”embarrassing” situation during the Confederations Cup later this
year and the 2014 World Cup.
Romario delivered the signatures alongside Ivo Herzog, the son
of a local journalist who died during the dictatorship era in 1975.
They have called for an investigation into Marin’s possible
connection to the death.
”We made a comparison in our petition saying that to think
about having Marin as head of the World Cup is likewise imagining
Germany selecting someone that belonged to the Nazi party,” Herzog
said. ”Can you imagine that? I cannot imagine that. But it
happened here in Brazil. That’s the reality.”
Marin, who is also the president of the local World Cup
organizing committee, has denied any wrongdoing and accused
Brazil’s media of trying to create chaos as the country prepares
for football’s showpiece event.
”Anyone with good faith will easily conclude that the
accusations by these pseudo-journalists are absolutely false,” the
statement on the site said. ”It’s a campaign based on lies.”
The delivery of the public petition, called ”Out Marin,” came
on the date commemorating the 49th anniversary of the military coup
in 1964. The petition will also be sent to state football
federations and to the presidents of top Brazilian clubs. The
signatures were gathered online.
”As the federation president, Marin will be side-by-side with
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff welcoming heads of states for
the Confederations Cup in June and for the World Cup next year,”
Romario recently told congress. ”They will likely share the same
VIP tribune, and I think this proximity will be a bit embarrassing
for our president.”
Last month, Romario called for congress’ truth commission to
hand over any information it has on Marin after the publication of
a controversial speech he gave as a state congressman just before
journalist Vladimir Herzog died. Marin allegedly called for an
investigation into the participation of leftists in the television
channel headed by Herzog, who was later interrogated by police and
eventually found dead in his cell.
The military said Herzog committed suicide, but activists argue
that Marin’s speech in part led to authorities torturing and
killing the journalist, whose case became widely known as a symbol
of the abuses against those opposing the dictatorship rule in
Brazil from 1964-85.
The 80-year-old Marin, whose party supported the military
regime, recently used the website of the Brazilian federation to
dismiss the accusations, saying he merely agreed with another
congressman who was calling for the investigation into the
television channel. He said there is no proof he had anything to do
with Herzog’s death.
Romario, known for being outspoken as a congressman, has been
calling for a congressional investigation into the Brazilian
federation (CBF) ever since Marin took over from Ricardo Teixeira,
who quit last year citing medical reasons amid widespread
allegations of corruption and irregularities in his
”I believe it is of vital importance that there is the opening
of an investigative hearing so Brazil can really know what is CBF,
what CBF does, and what these people who have been working at CBF
do,” Romario said.
Marin was a governor of Sao Paulo in the 1980s and also made
headlines recently after allegedly being caught on tape threatening
local businessmen, as well as for criticizing current Brazil Sports
Minister Aldo Rebelo. Marin said it’s not his voice on the tapes,
which were widely published on social medias.
Follow Tales Azzoni at http://twitter.com/tazzoni