Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Trouble At Mill?

Well, we though the dust had settled on the Campeonato seasons in Brazil but suddenly the brown stuff has hit fan so to speak. This incident is about to become as famous as the Bosman affair which changed the was transfer deals are done forever. The incident is so severe it could lead to the Seleção being removed from the FIFA World Cup Finals in South Africa next summer. Imagine a World Cup without Brazil.

The problem has been caused by a complaint from Portuguesa, they finished 5th in Série B this year, one place outside of the promotion zone and their gripe is with Guarani de Campinas. They are claiming that Bruno Carazine Constantino has played for more than two clubs during the last calender year, which is a clear breach of the FIFA Players' Status rules Article 5, Paragraph 3. The player left Série D side Chapecoense as the season in Brazil started and signed for Gyeongnam FC in South Korea. He then arrived back in Brazil at Guarani de Campinas in July.

Guarani de Campinas have claimed that the registration is valid as Constantino was exempt from the regulation because FIFA rules allow a player to have three clubs in a season if one club's championship is not on the same calendar as his new club. The season in Korea runs from March to December, whilst it's May to December in Brazil. It's a flimsy excuse at best and now the CBF and Guarani have dismissed the complaint from Portuguesa, that's not gone down well with the São Paulo based club and they have got some hot shot lawyers on the case and have complained directly to FIFA themselves.

FIFA will discuss the case on January 5th. Paulo Teixeira, who is leading the case, has proof that the CBF have failed in their responsibility as an association in charge to punish Guarani. The ultimate punishment that FIFA could apply if the CBF is found not to have applied the FIFA rules is to suspend the national team from the next official tournament. Now some may argue that Sepp Blatter will find some loophole to keep the Seleção in South Africa but how has it come to this that the 5 time winners may not even get a chance to enter the tournament this year. This could lead to Ecuador, sixth placed finishers in the CONMEBOL qualifying, or maybe Costa Rica, who lost to Uruguay in the play-offs, getting a late invite to South Africa.

Those who argue that Blatter will find a way of keeping Brazil at the top table come next summer can look across the South American continent for clues. Chile were under a similar threat after Rangers were docked points leading to their relegation for failing to adhere to the 6+5 rule, i.e. no more than five overseas players on the field at any time. Rangers took their appeal to the courts and once legal action is taken to resolve footballing matters, FIFA get twitchy. Rangers subsequently withdrew the legal threat and Chile maintained their place in South Africa. Whether a similar ultimatum to the CFB that Chile's ANFP received urging them to resolve the matter without recourse to the courts remains to be seen. If not, next summer could see Brazil absent at the finals for the first time.

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