Sao Paulo - The president of the Brazilian football confederation will not
attend FIFA's upcoming executive committee meeting in Switzerland, where his
predecessor was arrested on corruption charges less than two months ago.
Marco Polo Del Nero is a member of the committee but has decided to skip
Monday's extraordinary meeting in Zurich, where former Brazilian confederation
president Jose Maria Marin remains detained awaiting extradition to the United
The Brazilian confederation confirmed to The Associated Press early Saturday
that Del Nero won't travel to Switzerland to participate in FIFA's meeting, but
did not officially say why he is not making the trip.
Local media said Del Nero sent a letter to FIFA saying that he had to stay
in Brazil to handle local matters, including a recently installed congressional
investigation into the confederation and local football.
Del Nero, who has repeatedly said he is not concerned about being linked to
the FIFA investigation, was in Switzerland at the time of the early morning
raids that led to the arrest of Marin and six other soccer officials just a
couple of days before FIFA's presidential election. Del Nero hastily returned
to Brazil before the vote that re-elected Sepp Blatter, saying he was needed at
home to give "any necessary explanations" to local authorities.
Monday's extraordinary meeting is likely to decide on an election date to
replace Blatter, who later announced he would leave office amid the crisis. The
meeting is also expected to discuss structural changes at football's world
Del Nero also didn't leave Brazil to accompany the national team during the
Copa America in Chile a few weeks ago; a decision that many criticized.
Del Nero was a vice president during Marin's administration but has denied
knowing anything about the accusations involving the former president. He has
repeatedly said he is not one of the many "co-conspirators" mentioned
in the report unveiled by US authorities in May.
Del Nero has also denied any wrongdoing in his administration, which began
in April, and has dismissed any possibility of resigning despite widespread
calls for his departure.
According to local media, Del Nero said another reason he needs to stay in
Brazil is to deal with legislation that is being worked on to improve the
financial situation of local clubs.
Last week, Brazil's Senate started a congressional investigation into the
local confederation. The probe is being led by former star player Romario, who
said the committee plans to fully investigate Del Nero's actions as head of
The other member of FIFA's executive committee from CONMEBOL, the sport's
governing body in South America, is Luis Bedoya, the president of the Colombian
football confederation. CONMEBOL president Juan Angel Napout is one of FIFA's
vice presidents. It wasn't yet clear whether they would be going to Zurich for