A retired colonel of the Military Police of Pará, Antônio Carlos Nunes, 82, assumes the presidency of the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) for the third time. With the removal of Rogério Caboclo, accused of moral and sexual harassment by an employee of the entity, the military will be raised to the position for being the oldest vice president among the eight in the confederation.
At first, he stays in office for 30 days, the time established for Caboclo to remain away from the presidency. But the deadline can be extended.
From February 2017 to April 2019 he held the most important position in Brazilian football. Joined after Marco Polo Del Nero was banned from football. He left when Caboclo took office.
Before that, he had already spent 150 days in the role, in 2016, when Del Nero graduated after being indicted by the US courts in the case that became known as FIFAgate.
As in his previous stints in the presidency, Colonel Nunes will not be in charge.
In the 26 months of his buffer mandate (as well as in 2016), he was there to represent the interests of the group led by Del Neto. This time, he will be the most visible face of an administration that will be in charge of the most influential vices, such as Francisco Novelletto from Rio Grande do Sul, the president of the Minas Gerais Federation, Castellar Modesto Guimarães Neto, and the member of the FIFA executive committee, Fernando Sarney.
Nunes made his career at CBF as a convenient name in difficult times. He was hastily elected to vice-president five years ago to prevent the presidency from being occupied by Santa Catarina’s Delfim Peixoto, 75, an opponent of Del Neto. The colonel was the ideal choice because he was older and preferred in the succession. As it repeats now.
That was also how he won the election for president of the Federation of Pará, in 1997. The vote against Euclides Freitas Filho ended in a draw and age was a criterion to define the winner. Nunes gave. He commanded football in Pará for nearly 20 years.
In the few times he had autonomy decisions as president of the CBF, he caused controversy. In April 2016, he used a jet paid for by the confederation to go to Fernando de Noronha. The explanation given by him to the entity was that he traveled to meet with local football officials. There are no professional clubs in the archipelago that belongs to Pernambuco.
He was also stopped at the launch party for the Copa do Nordeste, in Maceió, in October 2018, because he refused to wear an identification bracelet.
“I am the president of the CBF. The president of the CBF does not need a bracelet,” he argued.
But nothing was worse than June 2018, when he broke an agreement made between all the South American confederations to vote for the joint candidacy of the United States, Canada and Mexico to host the 2026 World Cup. On his own initiative, Nunes chose Morocco and unleashed a serious crisis in top hat. Claudio Tapia, leader of the AFA (Argentine Football Association), said that Brazilians were “traitors”.
The colonel tried to blame the Brazilian delegates, but when it was proven that this was not true, he changed his speech. He said he chose the African country because it had never hosted a World Cup.
Nunes served in the Air Force from 1957 to 1966 and left the corporation as a corporal. He joined the Military Police of Pará in 1967 and remained until 1991. He became known in the state as the commander of the Batalhão de Choque. In 1977, he was appointed mayor of Monte Alegre, his hometown, by the military government.
The departure of the Air Force would be beneficial to him in the future. He was one of the officers who were discharged on suspicion of collaborating with the opposition to the government. His request for acknowledgment that he was persecuted by the military regime was granted in May 2003. He was then entitled to a pension that last year was around R$15,000 per month.
Averse to public statements and contact with journalists, he told the daily Lance! in 2015 believe that there is no corruption in Brazilian football.