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Sunday, April 18, 2021

FIFA Is Trying to Get FIFA ‘Out of Brazil’ After a Series of Mistakes

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A senior FIFA executive says the world soccer governing body will appeal to the International Court of Arbitration for Sport over attempts by clubs to keep games from reporters during official events such as training sessions.

“We will ask for a resolution” that could hold teams liable for any players who refuse to wear wristbands at training or games, Ricardo Teixeira, the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, said in an interview late Friday.

Teixeira was expressing frustration that the soccer field is more famous for the people who insist on wearing yellow and green shirts when they are running on it rather than, say, a World Cup team. He was also trying to explain why his national team was temporarily banned from entering pre-World Cup training camps because of an unauthorized picket line of amateur players.

He said that the row had calmed after some amateur players met with him and that official talks about the issue were set to start in the next few days.

Teixeira offered a glimpse into how FIFA thinks its organizing and administration can help other sports organizations, including track and field.

Ticket sales for the event have not met FIFA’s expectations, he said, because it has not worked out details for re-selling those tickets in which fans bid online. In addition, the build-up has not matched expectations, he said.

“After two years, I do not know why it is like this,” he said. “I don’t know how to sell tickets.”

He blamed FIFA’s decision not to use online payment systems as a model for other sports events. Ticket sales to NFL games are handled through existing bank networks and more easily tracked than they are in FIFA’s system, he said.

“It cannot be like this anymore. It has to be like that because the fans expect that these tickets can be paid,” he said.

About FIFA’s running of the Brazil Cup, he said, “We have not had success.”

“The Brazilian national team is getting sick,” he said, and was preparing for the World Cup without the three players who were sent home after being kicked in the head during practice last week, and could be sidelined for up to four weeks.

Teixeira described the incident, which led to the most severe suspension possible against the three players, as “a big blow.”

“They were spectators during the game,” he said. “They watched. They were seen. They want to support their team.”

There was more bad news for Brazil. Its most celebrated player, Neymar, was sent home after being held in an induced coma after suffering a back injury. He will miss the entire championship of the South American soccer championship, known as Copa America, which starts next month.

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