- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - The Brazilian Football Confederation says a marketing company that pays $1.05 million for the commercial rights to each international friendly match does not have the power to select the team.

The CBF responded Monday to a report in the Estado de S.Paulo newspaper that gave details of a contract with a Cayman Islands-based marketing company. The contract stipulates a 50 percent financial penalty unless top players like Barcelona striker Neymar are on the field - or others of the same “marketing value.”

The Brazilian soccer body countered and said “the criteria for selecting the squad for the matches of the Brazilian team are, and always will be, with the coach.

“The CBF has not auctioned off the Brazilian national team. At no time did it (the contract) influence the team call up, nor did it cloud the coach’s judgement.”

The CBF did not dispute the contract details with the marketing company International Sports Events published in the newspaper. The paper suggested many young players do not get a chance to develop because the marketing company demands only stars.

Details of the contract showed the CBF is obliged to present a “medical certificate” to the marketing company for players who are absent from matches.

“Any change to the player list will be provided in a written form to ISE,” the contract stipulates. “If this case, the CBF can substitute with different players of the same level, in regard to their marketing value and technical ability.”

The contract says ISE has exclusive rights to organize the match, provide lodging and “market and produce the games in any country in the world including Brazil.”

The agreement illustrates the financial power of Brazil’s famous national team - which seldom plays in Brazil - and the links that reach worldwide to commercial agents, marketers and FIFA, the governing body of world football.

The original contract with the Cayman-based ISE was negotiated by Ricardo Teixeira. He resigned in 2012 as CBF president amid a multi-million dollar kickback scandal. He handpicked Jose Maria Marin as his successor, and he was followed in the presidency by current president Marco Polo del Nero.

Teixeira also resigned in 2012 from FIFA’s powerful executive committee.

The marketing company ISE is a subsidiary of the Saudi Arabia-based Dallah Albaraka Group, which was named in a 2012 financial scandal that saw former FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hammam of Qatar expelled from football.

In an audit of financial accounts for the Bin Hammam-led Asian Football Confederation, Dallah Albaraka was identified as transferring $12 million in 2008 to an account used by the Qatari to channel payments to soccer officials.

Also in 2008, ISE transferred to $2 million to the account, the audit revealed.


AP Sports write Graham Dunbar contributed to this report.


Stephen Wade on Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephenWadeAP

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