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Brazil Football Confederation appoints Gussem to oversee integrity

| By Robert Fletcher
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has appointed Eduardo Gussem, former attorney-general of Rio de Janeiro, as its integrity officer as part of an effort to clamp down on manipulation in the sport.
Brazil football integrity

Gussem will now work with a multidisciplinary team and focus on strengthening integrity functions across football in Brazil. This includes overseeing a new integrity unit within the CBF.

He will also work with partners to help identify and punish criminals in Brazil. These include the International Centre for Sports Security, Global Alliance for Sports Integrity and a private investigative task force.

Gussem joins having previously been attorney-general of justice and president of the Public Ministry Association in Rio de Janeiro.

CBF: Online sports betting increases risk of football manipulation 

CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues said the rising popularity of sports betting has increased the risk of manipulation in football. He added that this is particularly an issue within the online wagering segment.

“All countries and all sports are subject to the possibility of manipulation of sports competitions,” Rodrigues said. “This phenomenon is a global threat to the integrity of sport and demands a collective global response. 

“An effective fight against the manipulation of sports competitions requires agile, fast, sustainable and effective national and international cooperation. There should also be dialogue and cooperation between public authorities, sports organisations, competition organisers and sports betting operators at national and international level. 

“This is essential in the search for common effective responses to the challenges posed by the problem of manipulating sports competitions. Our integrity unit will work permanently on these issues.”

Speaking about the role, Gussem said the challenge of addressing manipulation in football was “enormous”. 

“The integrity unit is a new and pioneering structure,” Gussem said. “We aim to bring rigidity and security to football.

“Today, there are several questions regarding the issue of betting and the manipulation of results. And we will carefully analyse all of this, building quick solutions for the public, fans and the football world. Fifa has already signalled that it will use this integrity unit as a pilot for the entire world.”

The appointment comes ahead of a crucial vote this week over proposed legal sports betting in Brazil.

In September the government’s lower chamber approved a bill that would legalise both sports betting and online casino. This passage marked one of the final hurdles in the long journey towards regulating online gambling in Brazil.

However, the unexpected decision to add igaming to the bill in September ruffled some feathers, with some senators voicing their opposition.

An effort was launched to remove online casino from the bill, but this failed last week when Brazil’s Economic Affairs Commission (CAE) signed off on the bill.

The bill now moves to the Senate plenary. A vote will take place on Wednesday (29 November), during which both sports betting and igaming could be given the all-clear.

However, should the Senate alter the bill’s text, it will go back to the Chamber of Deputies for review.

Key aspects in the bill include operators paying tax at a rate of 12% of revenue. Taxation on bettors is set at 15% and five-year licences will cost BRL$30m (£4.8m/€5.6m/$6.1m).

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