By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In report published yesterday by the Folha do São Paulo newspaper, Ricardo Teixeira, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), has been linked to a company under investigation for corruption charges. Ailanto Marketing is being investigated for fiddling expenses surrounding a friendly match between the Brazilian national team and Portugal in November 2008 to the tune of R$9 million.
According to the report, a company owned by Ailanto Marketing – VSV Agricultural Enterprises Inc – was operating out of Teixeira’s ranch in Piraí (50 miles from Rio) for a period of 26 months. However, until now, Teixeira has always denied any connection with Ailanto.
VSV Enterprises was opened just eight days before the 2008 friendly in Brasilia and was closed in January 2011. Its partners were registered as Sandro Rossel – owner of Ailanto, personal friend of Teixeira and joint-partner with Teixeira’s wife in another business – and Vanessa Precht, Rossel’s secretary.
Workers at Teixeira’s ranch reportedly denied that VSV had ever operated there. Teixeira’s PR office said that his connection to VSV was “legal” and that he had declared it on his income tax return.
Experts from the Financial Court in the Federal District have reportedly found irregularities in Ailanto’s accounts dating from the time of the 2008 match, raising suspicions that the R$9 million bill presented to the Federal District Government had been inflated due to false expenses claims.
Teixeira has been president of the CBF since January 1989, and this is not the first corruption claim leveled at him. His term was due to be continued until after the 2014 World Cup. However, some commentators are speculating that he may step down following this latest revelation.
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