CBF give Liga Rio-Sul-Minas the nod
The CBF have given the broadest hint yet that they would be willing to countenance a “breakaway” Liga Sul-Minas-Rio in 2016.
There is continued dissatisfaction with the organisation of the Brazilian calendar, with the first three months of every domestic season given over to State Championships, which are widely considered to have dated. Consequently, each club in the Brazilian top flight is guaranteed 60 matches a season as a minimum and the 38 match league season is crammed into 7 months.
A breakaway from Brazil’s biggest clubs, dissatisfied with spending 1/3 of their season playing practically amateur sides on suspect pitches, has proved difficult due to the political hierarchy of Brazilian football. Discussions have germinated in recent months between representatives of Flamengo, Fluminense, Internacional, Grêmio, Atlético-MG, Cruzeiro, Coritiba, Atlético-PR, Joinville, Chapecoense, Cricíuma, Avaí and Figueirense, with América-MG and Parana joining later.
The Liga Rio-Sul-Minas could have as many as 20 teams and proposes to take place in February and March of next year. The CBF have, surprisingly, been receptive to the competition, despite the obvious conflict with the State Championships, which take place at the same time. But CBF General Secretary told SporTV that a meeting would take place next week, to iron out the finer details of the competition. Should it go ahead, it seems almost certain that the clubs involved would field youth and reserve sides in the Estudais.
“It (the Liga Rio-Sul-Minas) proceeds. We will have a meeting to see all issues to be resolved. There are issues related to regulation, officiating, competition, scheduling, because in the end is the CBF that oversees the operating structure. If there is no conflict with the schedule, what has been established, no problem. Our recommendation is that it assures all federations that there will be no conflict, as was done in relation to the Liga do Nordestino .”
After the meeting at CBF headquarters in Rio, the chief executive of Liga Sul-Rio-Minas, Alexandre Kalil, said the competition "was blessed by CBF." The ex-Atlético-MG President continued, “It is a historic day. I saw significant good will from the CBF. The competition is strong in itself, with more than half of the big clubs in Brazil. It is not a regional league. The union of clubs is spectacular.”