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Not much football to look forward to in Brazil

07 July 2014, 19:03

Brazil - Brazil has been one of the focal points of the World Cup but there will not be much football for the country's capital to look forward when the tournament leaves town following the third place match on Saturday.

When the Brazilian championship re-starts later this month, the federal district will be represented by just one team, Brasiliense, playing in the regionalised fourth division.

The glistening new Brasilia national stadium, popularly known as Mane Garrincha after one of Brazil's greatest players, stadium is likely to go unused by the local side as Brasiliense stage their matches in a more modest arena, popularly known as the Alligator's Mouth.

"It's a stadium for 20,000 which is sufficient for what we need," Brasiliense coach Marcos Soares told Reuters.

"If we want to play in front of large crowds, we need to get results and get promoted."

"You have to pay (to rent the stadium), you have the employees, cleaning, security staff, the clubs have to pay for this," added Soares, who worked as logistics manager for Iran during the World Cup.

"It's a gigantic stadium, for 70,000 people, Brasiliense will not fill a stadium like that. To make a profit, you need, I imagine, 25,000 people and you're not going to get that in a fourth division match in the Brazilian championship."

Brazil's fourth division consists of eight regionalised groups of five teams, who play each other home and away with the top two in each going into a knockout competition.

The system has a fundamental flaw, which is that for teams who do not qualify for the knockout rounds, the season comes to an abrupt end.

"At the end of these eight games, the players may have to leave," said Soares. "You can't pay a player to stay at home."

"There's very great instability in football, we hear about players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, for them it's easy, when their contract finishes, something else is always lined up.

"Here, the reality is very different; when your contract is up, you don't know where and when you are going," he said, although he added the players at Brasiliense were relatively well off by fourth division standards.

But he added that Brasiliense's players were better off than many others.

"For the level at which we play, Brasiliense is a big team, it pays well, it pays on time, with good bonuses, it's different."

Brasiliense played in the first competitive match at the Mane Garrincha last year when they faced rivals Brasilia FC in the final of the local championship, with President Dilma Rousseff among the crowd.

Brasilia FC, meanwhile, will have to wait until next year before playing another competitive game.

They are one of many small clubs condemned to long periods of inactivity by the Byzantine structure of Brazilian domestic football.

The first four months of the year are dedicated to regional competitions, one for each of Brazil's 27 states, and the rest of the season belongs to the Brazilian championship.

For those teams not already in the top three divisions of the Brazilian championship, the only way in to the fourth division is winning or finishing second in their respective state competition.

Brasilia coach Marquinho Carioca said that most of the players had been loaned out to other clubs for the rest of the year and would return for the state championship in January.

He said, however, that the new stadium, criticised by many as being a white elephant, would act as an inspiration and he hoped that one day, Brasilia, who ironically played at the old Mane Garrincha before it was demolished, could play in the ground regularly.

"People will work harder, they will dedicate themselves more so that we can have a club in the elite of Brazilian football, certainly it will bring positive things," he told Reuters while his players warmed up for a training session.

"I think it was money well spent because it motivates football in Brasilia, having a stadium like that motivates the athletes, you feel the atmosphere."

- Reuters


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