Brazilian justice minister Gilmar Mendes has ordered Ednaldo Rodrigues to be reinstated as the president of CBF, the country's governing body for soccer, after overturning the previous ruling by the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice.
Rodrigues was removed from his post last month by a Rio de Janeiro court, annulling the CBF assembly’s decision last year to elect Rodrigues president and instead naming Jose Perdiz – president of the Superior Court of Sports Justice – as interim head of the soccer body.
Rodrigues was supposed to lead the CBF until 2026, but the court felt the electoral process through which Rodrigues became president was illegal, upholding this decision a week later.
Justice minister Mendes outlined that unless Rodrigues was re-instated, there was a risk of the Brazil national soccer team being barred by world soccer’s governing body FIFA from taking part in the qualifying tournament for this year's Paris Olympics.
This is because FIFA does not allow any government interference in any soccer affairs, with the penalty being the nation in question being banned from taking part in any of its competitions.
Mendes said: "In this situation, there is a risk of imminent damage, since the registration of players from the Brazilian national team in the qualifying tournament for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which must be completed by tomorrow (5/1/24), would be made unfeasible.”
Mendes referred to FIFA as having sent letters to Brazil stating that it did not recognize the interim president appointed by the court as the legitimate representative of CBF.
The decision is preliminary, with the 10 other justices of Brazil's top court set to analyze Mendes' decision for a final ruling on a future date that is yet to be determined.
Rodrigues himself first took the job as interim president in 2021 after predecessor Rogério Caboclo’s sexual harassment case with a CBF staffer.
He joins a list of CBF presidents who have faced legal problems, although most others were corruption cases such as those of Ricardo Teixeira, José Maria Marin, and Marco Polo del Nero.