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Brazil Imposes Term Limits for Heads of Sports Confederations

Brazil Imposes Term Limits for Heads of Sports Confederations

In recent months the Brazilian government has made a series of moves that demonstrate its willingness to increase transparency in government and reduce bureaucracy. The latest action sets term limits for the leaders of sports confederations.

An example of sports confederations in Brazil is the Brazilian Football Confederation. Founded in 1914, it organizes all of the national and regional football competitions in Brazil. It also administers the Brazilian national football team and the Brazilian women’s national football team. Additionally, each state in Brazil has its own football confederation that governs local teams.

Brazil’s Senate has approved the term-limiting legislation for sports confederations and has passed it on to President Dilma Rousseff for her signature. It is expected that President Rousseff will sign the bill into law once it reaches her desk. Among other changes, the legislation beefs up transparency by requiring sports confederations to publish an annual accounting and include athletes in the decision-making process.

The primary problem addressed by the newly enacted legislation is that many of the current leaders of sports confederations have been in power for two or three decades. It’s this consolidation of power and lack of new voices in leadership roles that concerns government officials, players, and fans.

Ricardo Teixeira, the most recent former head of the Brazilian Football Confederation, was in power for two decades before resigning in 2012 in the midst of allegations of wrongdoing. Carlos Nuzman, who is responsible for organizing the 2016 Olympics, has been in power since 1995.

Athletes Happy with Term Limits and Inclusion

The new term limitations will be greeted with excitement in the sports world. Brazilian professional athletes who attended Senate hearings during the vote included three-time French Open tennis champion Gustavo Kuerten, 1994 World Cup soccer winners Rai and Mauro Silva, and former world champion boxer Acelino “Popo” Freitas.

Rai was quoted as saying, “Sport should be an example of modernity, transparency, and professionalism. The approval of this law is vital if we are to come up with public policies for sport.”

Changes Come During Preparation for Hosting World Sporting Events

Brazil’s government appears to be doing everything it can to bring its standards of ethics, transparency, and inclusion up to a world-class level as Brazil prepares to host two of the biggest sporting events in the world. Brazil will host soccer’s World Cup in 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016.