The CBF have acted quickly after the sacking of Dunga on Tuesday and have appointed the Corinthians’ manager Tite to take over in the role.
It was the appointment that most of the Brazilian press expected and that a lot of Brazilian people wanted. Tite has turned down the job on two previous occasions and is a proven winner.
He took Corinthians to last year’s Brasileirão, his second national league title with the club, having also led Timão to the 2012 Copa Libertadores and World Club Championship, where they overcame Chelsea in the final.
He commands a huge amount of respect from his players and has the experience to deal with the demands placed on the manager of the Seleção, having dealt successfully with the huge pressure that comes with being Corinthians’ head coach, a team with around 30 million fans.
There is confidence in the country that he will oversee a successful qualifying campaign. A faltering start with Dunga in the dugout has seen Brazil collect only nine points from their first six games, currently sitting outside the qualification places but there is a belief that Tite can turn things around.
There is no doubt that he will have sufficient talent at his disposal to make it to Russia. Despite the failure under Dunga and the dismal showing at the Copa America there are some excellent players coming through, including 19 year-old attackers Gabriel Barbosa and Gabriel Jesus, of Santos and Palmeiras respectively.
This is in addition to the attacking talents such as Douglas Costa, Philippe Coutinho, Oscar, Willian, Roberto Firmino and, of course, Neymar that he already has available to him.
Tite will probably also recall Thiago Silva, the finest centre-back of his generation, who was dropped by Dunga after a personal disagreement, an episode which highlighted Dunga’s cantankerous nature.
So it would seem that this is the perfect time for Tite to take the helm and rescue the sinking ship that is the Brazilian national team.
But he should never have answered the call of the CBF. Why, you might ask? If he has the players and the disposition to make a good go of it, why not take the job of a lifetime, an opportunity that may never present itself again?
Six months ago Tite was one of the signatories of a letter entitled ‘Manifesto for a new CBF’. The letter was signed by more than a hundred coaches, current and ex-players (including Pelé), artists, and journalists and called for the resignation of Marco Polo Del Nero, the president of the CBF, and free and open elections to decide his successor.
Del Nero is accused by the FBI of accepting bribes in return for granting sponsorship and television rights for domestic and international competitions whilst he was vice-president. The ex-president of the CBF José Maria Marin, with whom he served as vice, has already been imprisoned in the US on the same charges.
Del Nero took a three month leave of absence from the presidency, between January and April of this year, to prepare the case for his defence.
He was in Switzerland at the time of Marin’s arrest but returned to Brazil immediately, not even waiting to vote in the FIFA presidential elections, and has not left since. He will not travel even when Brazil have games abroad for fear of being extradited to the US to face trial.
The CBF is corrupt to its core and Brazilian football will not recover from its current malaise whilst it is led by a group of unscrupulous thieves who care far more for their own finances than for the national sport, the pastime that makes a nation out of Brazil’s vast and disparate population.
Any success that Tite brings to the Seleção; and with his record there is a distinct possibility that he will bring success; will be the thinnest of sheets of paper over the gaping chasm of immorality and corruption that is the Brazilian football federation.
Tite has abandoned his principles to take on this job and the 600 thousand real-a-month salary that comes with it.
If he had turned down Del Nero and the CBF when they came calling this time, and gone public with the reasons why, he would have piled even more pressure on an organisation that is crumbling from within.
They would have got a manager, without doubt, but not getting the man they and the country really wanted would have been a substantial blow in the fight against corruption that is ongoing in all areas of Brazilian public life.