RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – Brazilian football federation president Ricardo Teixeira has called the English media corrupt and refused to talk to British journalists on Friday.
When approached by members of the British media on the eve of the World Cup qualifying draw in Rio de Janeiro, Teixeira said he would not talk to the ''English press'' because they are ''corrupt.''
Some reporters started to complain and a spokesman for the Brazilian federation had to intervene to keep the incident from escalating.
Brazilian federation spokesman Rodrigo Paiva said the journalists had been advised that Teixeira would not speak at that moment but a British reporter broke through security and tried to talk to Teixeira. Paiva said a news conference with Teixeira had been planned for later Friday but it was uncertain whether it would happen after the problem with the English journalists.
Teixeira has been at odds with the English media since the BBC alleged that the Brazilian official was one of the FIFA members who took kickbacks from the former marketing partner of the governing body in the 1990s.
Teixeira also had a feud with England's Football Association after David Triesman, the former head of England's failed bid for the 2018 World Cup, accused the Brazilian of improper ethical behavior.
Teixeira was cleared by FIFA of any wrongdoing but has continued to attack English media and the FA. He said the allegations were made because the English were upset for losing the World Cup bid.
In a recent interview to Brazilian magazine Piaui, Teixeira lashed out at Triesman, the FA and the BBC, accusing them of trying to destabilize the World Cup that Brazil is preparing to host for the first time in 64 years.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter earlier in the day told reporters that Teixeira's criticism of England was not in the best interest of football's governing body and that he would talk to the Brazilian official about the matter.
Teixeira, the president of the World Cup's local organizing committee, also is constantly attacked by Brazilian media for alleged irregularities running Brazilian football. A march in protest against Teixeira is planned for Saturday before the qualifying draw. There is also a campaign on Twitter against the Brazilian official who has been head of the Brazilian football federation since 1989. The top ForaRicardoTeixeira (OutRicardoTeixeira, in Portuguese), has been a trending topic in Brazil in recent days.
The 2014 World Cup qualifying draw on Saturday will determine each nation's path to try to secure a spot in the tournament three years from now.
Tales Azzoni can be reached at http://twitter.com/tazzoni