SAO PAULO -- The embattled president of the Brazilian football confederation is under investigation for marketing deals with a major carmaker.
The office of former Barcelona star Romario, now a federal senator, confirmed the contract probe involving Marco Polo del Nero on Monday. It is part of an ongoing senate investigation looking into how the sport is run by the Brazilian football body.
The investigation involves contracts negotiated with more than 20 state federations when Del Nero was vice president of the national federation.
Senators want to know if awarding those contracts influenced votes from state federations for Del Nero to become president, succeeding Jose Maria Marin.
Sergio Gomes, who signed the contracts as a representative of the automaker Chevrolet, continues to work for Del Nero.
A call to Gomes on Monday from The Associated Press went unanswered.
Chevrolet replaced Volkswagen as the national team sponsor after Del Nero took over the presidency this year.
The newspaper Estado de S. Paulo first reported the investigation into the contracts. Documents it published showed large, lucrative deals were awarded to even small, relatively unimportant state federations.
- Estadão Esportes (@EstadaoEsporte) November 26, 2015
Del Nero has come under increasing scrutiny and was forced to resign last week from the FIFA executive committee, though he kept his job as president at home.
Del Nero was not indicted in the FIFA corruption scandal, in which Swiss and American authorities six months ago arrested top football officials in a deepening corruption probe.
Brazil has no extradition treaty with the United States, so Del Nero is safer in Brazil than if he travels outside the South American country.