Brazilian football calendar could follow European season

August 5, 2009 at 14:08 15 comments

Ricardo Teixeira

Ricardo Teixeira

In an interview with O Globo, the president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, Ricardo Teixeira, has spoken about a possible alteration to the Brazilian football season.

Teixeira said that it was the right time to start a discussion on whether the country’s national league should be switched to run from August to May.

Currently, Brazil’s absurdly long football year starts in early January with the State Championships, which run till May. In February, the Copa do Brasil kicks off and finishes in July. The Campeonato Brasileiro (Brazil’s national league) starts in May and goes through to December. Adding to the congestion are the Libertadores (the equivalent of the Champions League) and the Copa Sul-Americana (an unnecessary addition to the South America calendar).

As things stand, the Brasileiro is wrecked by the European and Asian transfer market windows, which often decimate teams during the first half of the championship. Corinthians, who had a side good enough to walk the league, recently lost three of the best players and now stand no chance of becoming champions. Internacional sold off their best player, Nilmar. Cruzeiro had to let Ramires go and look set to lose Kléber. Before the end of August, other teams will lose their top players.

The CBF president also argued that a change to the calendar would benefit the Copa do Brasil. Currently, teams competing in the Libertadores cannot play in the national competition. That usually means Brazil’s biggest clubs are excluded from the cup.  

Teixeira, though, admitted that even though the problems facing Brazil’s teams during the current domestic calendar are well documented, not all the clubs are in favour of change. São Paulo, for example, are against any kind of shift (though why this is was not made clear in the interview). He also said that talks had to be held with the league sponsors and the state federations. Teixeira, however, failed to mention TV Globo (Brazil’s biggest TV channel), as without their consent and support nothing will happen.

The proposed modification to the domestic calendar is not new. The alteration is however of paramount importance to a competition that in reality is a low priority for many clubs until the Copa do Brasil and the Libertadores finish in July. International tournaments such as the Confederations Cup, also rob the Brasileiro of key players. Brazil’s national league then suffers further disruptions because of the transfer market, which doesn’t close until the end of August. All this means that the Campeonato Brasileiro is affected drastically until about round 22 – more than half-way through the competition!


Entry filed under: Brazilian football. Tags: , , , , , .

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15 Comments Add your own

  • […] […]

  • 2. Matt  |  August 5, 2009 at 15:52

    Nice to see this debate being brought to the table because Brazilian football needs this to happen if it’s to progress.

    The new Brasileirao league format was the first step to this and I think adjusting the calender would benefit the Brazilian game greatly.

    From my understanding the stumbling block is this-

    The CBF is made up of representatives from each of the states. The state championships would be most affected (at risk even?) from this change. As a result, the CBF officials are reluctant to switch to the ‘European’ format as they would lose votes from the state representatives and lose power.

    It is worth mentioning that Brazil aren’t the only South American nation who don’t follow the Aug-May calender.

    Jon, as a Euro living in Brazil what are your personal views and what do you see happening?

    I’m personally of the opinion this is a LONG way off from becoming reality despite Texeira’s comments.

    I officially declare the hornet’s nest… OPEN! haha

  • 3. Eric  |  August 5, 2009 at 21:28

    So, would this more or less mean the end of the state championships?

    Obviously, the current format is somewhat absurd, so at least in theory a change seems like it would be great.

  • 4. pitacodogringo  |  August 5, 2009 at 23:34

    It would be difficult here in Brazil to erase the State championships altogether – even though there are somewhat irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. My idea would be to keep them but in a reduced form. The Paulista, for example, has 20 teams and requires 23 games to win it. Currently, all the sides play each other in the group stage. So, that’s 19 games. I’d have two groups of ten with two seeds in each. The top two in each group would go into the playoffs. That would mean a championship of just 13 games by my calculation.
    But even a smaller state championship slot would create problems in a rather squashed calendar and in a World Cup finals year, they’d probably have to go.
    My season would look like this. It’s a long way from perfect and the state competitions remain a problem.
    The Libertadores – January to May
    The Copa do Brasil – January to May
    The State championships – May to June
    The Campeonato Brasileiro – late August to May
    Copa Sul Americana – September to December

    • 5. robdog  |  August 6, 2009 at 18:57

      Don’t forget to mention the Mundial de Clubes

      • 6. pitacodogringo  |  August 6, 2009 at 19:56

        now that’s one competition i would have no hesitation in dropping –

  • 7. John  |  August 7, 2009 at 02:44

    I would say it would be a good move of running between August and May as long as it dosn’t go the way it is in Argentina with the horrible Opening and Closing stages that they do.

  • 8. pitacodogringo  |  August 8, 2009 at 18:10

    Brazil president Lula is also in favor of a change. And there seems to be tacit support from TV Globo i.e. there’s been lots of stuff on their site about teams being ripped apart in the transfer window

  • 9. kang dwi  |  August 9, 2009 at 13:42

    be a good move on aguust

  • 10. Daily Dose: August 12th, 2009 - World Cup Blog  |  August 12, 2009 at 20:19

    […] Brazilian football to follow European calendar? (Pitaco do gringo) […]

  • 11. Bruno Romani  |  August 13, 2009 at 00:15

    That’s horrible. I can’t believe 20 clubs in Europe will change our football.

    • 12. pitacodogringo  |  August 13, 2009 at 18:31

      I’d be interested to hear why the Brazilian football season should stay the same. I can’t think of any valid reason – I’ve heard some Brazilians mention ‘tradition’ but for me it makes no sense in having a league that is out of kilter with nearly all the major championships around the world. The way things are now it means that most teams in the Brasileiro aren’t settled until approximately round 19, which as you know is halfway through the league.

  • 13. Bruno Romani  |  August 19, 2009 at 20:57

    Hi Gringo,

    I have several reasons to believe that changing the calendar is no solution for Brazilian football.

    If adjusting the calendar is an answer to the international transfers, this is a shot-sighted action. Why? Because Easter European, the Middle Eastern and Asian markets do NOT have transfers windows like in the main Western European markets. And, as you know, the majority of Brazilians moving overseas nowadays are going to those 3 markets. Besides that, in the book published by PVC (named “Bola Fora”), you’ll see how international transfers have been a current practice in Brazil since the 1930’s. And, in fact, as far as economy goes, Brazilian clubs have to sell their players to keep thing going. In order to avoid that cycle, you’d have reform an entire system. Clubs economically strong do not sell players, no matter the calendar.

    Also, synchronizing the calendar means that half of the tournament would be played in the summer. And, as you know, from November to the end of carnaval, Brazilians invest time, energy and money in many other things not related to football. Having games played at this time of the year, I’m quite sure there would be less people at the stadiums and watching them on TV – simply because in the summer people are doing other things.

    Also, as a form of entertainment, it doesn’t make any sense to not offer it in the winter, a time of the year which people are more likely to consume the product – be it on TV or in the stadiums.

    Putting it short: transfers will happen anyway and by not playing in the winter, it will be further weakened.

    This, of course, does not mean that a coupe of things could be done, as, for instance, making the state championships shorter (I’m for them, but this is a different discussion), and make sure Brazilian clubs do not play on FIFA dates.

  • 14. Football Transfers  |  January 15, 2010 at 04:45

    Informative post nice to see that the Brazilian football calendar could follow European season

  • 15. Professional Sports Fan  |  November 22, 2010 at 04:09

    To be simple, American football, similar to rugby in England, is where the quarterback throws the ball to a receiver and everybody is running around the gridiron.


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The man who came up with: Messi carrying Argentina. Neymar carrying Brazil. British Airways carrying England. My name is Jon Cotterill. I am an English football commentator for TV Globo in São Paulo, Brazil. Currently we're broadcasting two live Campeonato Brasileiro or Campeonato Paulista games per week plus our magazine show, Footbrazil to 180 countries. + Eu trabalho como narrador na TV Globo em São Paulo, Brasil. Atualmente, nos transmitimos dois jogos ao vivo do Campeonato Brasileiro ou Campeonato Paulista por semana e nosso programa de futebol semanal, Footbrazil.

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