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World Cup: Romario launches new attack on organizers of 2014 event

October 16, 2013|By Kevin Baxter
  • Romario, shown playing for Brazil in the 1998 World Cup, is using his current position as a congressman to criticize FIFA, Sepp Blatter and the planners of the 2014 World Cup headed for his country.
Romario, shown playing for Brazil in the 1998 World Cup, is using his current… (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles…)

The World Cup is less than eight months away, but the name-calling continues with Brazilian congressman and former national team star Romario launching another attack against FIFA, world soccer's governing body, and its president, Sepp Blatter.

According to the Associated Press, Romario spoke at a congressional hearing Tuesday and called Blatter a thief and labeled his assistant, FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, "a blackmailer."

Romario, who has long been critical of both FIFA and the Brazilian organizers of next summer's tournament, continued his attacks online, writing on his website Wednesday that Valcke was not "the best person to do business" with Brazil and calling the Brazilian soccer federation "corrupt."

"We can't expect anything from FIFA, where we have a blackmailer called Valcke and a thief called Blatter," Romario said. "They really don't represent world football, much less Brazilian football."

Romario, who helped Brazil win the World Cup in 1994 when the tournament was held in the U.S., has led the calls for a congressional investigation into the Brazilian federation after Jose Maria Marin took over as president from Ricardo Teixeira, who quit last year citing medical reasons amid widespread allegations of corruption and irregularities in his administration.

The congressman, who took office in 2010, was speaking Tuesday in response to a colleague who said FIFA should do more to make sure the World Cup leaves a legacy for Brazil.

FIFA did not immediately respond a request for comment.


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