RIO DE JANEIRO, (Reuters) – Brazilian fans plan match-day protests against Ricardo Teixeira, the head of the country’s football association, to demand he step down from his role at the 2014 World Cup.
The protests, involving more than 20 fan groups, come after police opened an investigation into corruption allegations against Teixeira, who has dominated Brazilian football for two decades and heads the local organising committee for the World Cup in Brazil.
The demonstrations will take place at league games on the weekend of Aug. 27/28.
Fans from clubs including Rio’s Flamengo and Sao Paulo’s Corinthians will carry banners demanding that Teixeira step down from his World Cup role, the National Confederation of Fan Organizations (Conatorg) said on its website.
“One of our flags will be the fight against Ricardo Teixeira. We want a transparent administration with ethics,” said Wildner Rocha, the president of Conatorg.
Police are analysing documents seized in a raid on a sports marketing firm in Rio de Janeiro they suspect may have been used as a front to siphon off 9 million reais ($5.6 million) in public funds. The money was meant to help fund a friendly match between Brazil and Portugal in 2008.
According to a report by the Record television station that drew attention to the case, the firm was opened just days before the match and its owner — a woman who worked in the fashion industry — later leased land belonging to Teixeira.
The CBF, Brazil’s soccer federation, has denied the allegations against Teixeira, a FIFA executive committee member who has often been at the centre of controversy.
Teixeira called the English “pirates” this year after David Triesman, the former head of the English FA, accused him in a parliamentary inquiry of asking for a bribe in return for his vote for England’s bid to stage the 2018 World Cup finals.
A subsequent inquiry found no evidence for Triesman’s allegation and FIFA cleared Teixeira of any wrongdoing.
Teixeira is also furious about allegations made by BBC’s Panorama programme that he took bribes totalling nearly 6 million pounds ($10 million) from collapsed FIFA TV rights company ISL in the 1990s.
FIFA head Sepp Blatter is attempting to clean up FIFA’s image in the wake of bribery and corruption allegations against nine of its 24-man executive committee.