Published July 29, 2011
RIO DE JANEIRO – The president of Brazil's soccer federation questioned the integrity of British journalists Friday on the eve of the 2014 World Cup qualifying draw.
When approached by members of the British media, RicardoTeixeira said he would not talk to the "English press" because they are "corrupt." Some reporters started to complain and a spokesman for the Brazilian federation had to intervene.
Brazilian federation spokesman Rodrigo Paiva said the journalists had been advised Teixeira would not speak then, but a British reporter broke through security and tried to talk to him. Paiva said a news conference with Teixeira had been planned for later Friday, but it was uncertain whether that would now happen.
Teixeira has been at odds with the English media since the BBC alleged the Brazilian official was one of the FIFA members who took kickbacks from the former marketing partner of the governing body in the 1990s.
Teixeira also clashed with England's Football Association after David Triesman, the former head of England's failed bid for the 2018 World Cup, accused the Brazilian of improper ethical behavior.
Teixeira was cleared by FIFA of any wrongdoing but has continued to attack English media and the FA. He said the allegations were made because the English were upset for losing the World Cup bid.
In a recent interview to the Brazilian magazine Piaui, Teixeira lashed out at Triesman, the FA and the BBC. He contends they are trying to destabilize the World Cup that Brazil is preparing to host for the first time in 64 years.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Teixeira's criticism of England was not in the best interest of soccer's ruling body and he would talk to the Brazilian.
Teixeira, the president of the World Cup's local organizing committee, has been head of the Brazilian soccer federation since 1989. He is often assailed by Brazilian media for his handling of soccer. A protest march against Teixeira is planned for Saturday before the qualifying draw. There is also a Twitter campaign against him.
The draw will determine each nation's path in its bid to make the tournament in three years.
Tales Azzoni can be reached at http://twitter.com/tazzoni