Former Brazil coach Émerson Leão refutes lobbyist claims
Former Brazil coach Émerson Leão has strongly refuted claims that Léomar Leiria received a call-up to the national team because Sport Recife president Luciano Bivar paid a lobbyist.
The 63-year-old was in charge of the national team for seven months and guided them to a fourth-place finish at the 2001 Confederations Cup in South Korea and Japan.
Leão has insisted that Léomar was part of the Brazil squad for the tournament because his performances merited it, and not because Bivar had paid someone to convince him.
He told Arena Sportv, a Brazilian TV show: "First of all, I have nothing to hide. I am perplexed that a respectable man from Recife, who once ran for president of the country, came to speak about that in public.
"Now, a person who says something like that must be investigated by the Sports Council and the police. If that is confirmed, he must go to jail. The one who paid, and the one who received the money, too.
"The CBF president didn't let us call players from foreign clubs or from the big clubs. The only lobby there was for Leomar's call-up was the great year he had playing football as a defensive midfielder while I was coaching Sport.
"Since I couldn't have defensive midfielders from the great clubs or playing outside the country, he was given the chance to play for the national team. Nothing more than that. There was no lobby."