CBF promise: Will we have more national team games in Brazil?

The new president wants to make the Brazilian squad more accessible to the general public, but there are difficulties in the way

Ednaldo Rodrigues, the new president of the CBF, declared in a report to clubs and federations that he wants to bring the Brazilian squad closer to their supporters. The idea is to play in the country more often.

The Brazilian squad has grown into a powerful commercial brand that moves a lot of money in recent decades. This, however, caused a chasm with the Brazilian people, who can only watch the qualifying games in their own nation.

The possibility of altering the situation exists. However, it will not be an easy transition.

Current contract ends in December

The CBF have struck a deal with Pitch International, who own the rights to market the Brazilian National Team’s friendly matches, since 2012. It’s a lucrative arrangement for the company, with each game bringing in over $2 million in revenue.

The accord is only in effect until December, after which the CBF will have the opportunity to renegotiate the terms. Even if he is re-elected, the next president declared that the goal is to bring the Selecao closer.

“If it needs to be replaced or produced again, it will be in a different model from the one that the national team has to discard,” the president told UOL.

It was Ricardo Teixeira who privileged the financial side

The current deal superseded the previous one, which was signed in 2006 with the Saudi Arabia-linked International Sports Events (ISE). The CBF knew that the team’s friendly might make a lot of money even while Ricardo Teixeira was president.

This explains why the squad played friendly matches against inferior teams in several towns where the Selecao was a big draw and boosted the city’s ticket office and economy. In 2009, for example, a friendly match was played versus Oman.

Due to the pandemic, Pitch Internacional have been unable to organize games in Brazil for over three years. Three friendlies are planned for June, however the most recent ones were held in November 2019. The Copa América and the Qualifiers have dominated the schedule since then.

Team have friendlies outside the country in 2022

Brazil just competed in the last round of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, but they still has a game versus Argentina scheduled, which has been postponed. The focus now shifts to the main event, which begins in November.

The possibilities of games in Brazil in the future months are little to none. The following dates have games planned in another country. They have friendly matches against South Korea, Japan, and Australia in June. The Selecao will then play in September in the United States.

In this respect, there is no urgency to set a schedule for after the World Cup, since the Brazilian team’s primary goal is to win the tournament. However, since the existing deal makes this impossible, it is a chance to bring additional games to the nation.

Games against Europeans can create obstacles

The absence of games versus Europeans is a popular complaint among Brazilian supporters. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, Brazil’s national team did not have a history of hosting many friendly matches against major football powers.

Even though the finest Brazilian players are in Europe, attracting opponents to Brazil is difficult. In that sense, there will almost certainly be a gap between scoring better friendlies or playing more regularly in the nation and being closer to the fans.

Nations League with UEFA on the horizon

There’s also another stumbling block that might make it tough to organize games in Brazil. There is a push to include UEFA and CONMEBOL in the Nations League, which is presently solely played by European countries.

The idea would eliminate the gap in games against clubs from Europe, but it might also substantially cut the amount of friendly. The schedule is tight, and with one more tournament on the horizon, the window for friendly matches will be even tighter.

In any case, the drive to bring more games to Brazil is critical for the Brazilian squad, which has been away from its supporters for a long time and will be able to rebuild that bond with more appearances on home soil.

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