Brazil says squad selection done solely by coach, not marketing partners

RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Brazilian Football Confederation says a marketing company that pays $1.05 million for the commercial rights to each international friendly match does not have the power to select the team.

The CBF responded on Monday to a report in the Estado de S.Paulo newspaper that gave details of a contract with a Cayman Islands-based marketing company.

The contract stipulates a 50 percent financial penalty unless top players like Barcelona striker Neymar are on the field -- or others of the "same marketing value."

The CBF says "the criteria for selecting the squad for the matches of the Brazilian team are, and always will be, with the coach," though it did not dispute the contract details published in the newspaper.

A statement on the governing body's official website reads: "Reports published in Estadao have led to unfounded suspicions of irregularities regarding the contract between the CBF and ISE."

"The CBF strongly denies any such malicious insinuations and would like to make it clear that it has not 'sold' the national team as the paper claims.

"The coaches will always be the ones in charge of picking the players. They have always played the best players and will always continue to do so.

"The contract between the CBF and ISE is not a secret and large parts of it have been published before.

"The people of Brazil can all see which players are called up for the national team and can see for themselves that these choices aren't made because of commercial requirements."

The contract with the Cayman-based International Sports Events was negotiated by Ricardo Teixeira. He resigned in 2012 as CBF president amid a multimillion dollar kickback scandal.