Brazilian media pour scorn on mystery friendly
The Brazilian Football
Confederation (CBF) was scorned by the media today after the previous
day's friendly against mystery opponents.
Brazil strolled to a 4-0 win in Kuwait against
a team which was described by the CBF's Web site as the Kuwait national
side but which appeared to be a Select 11 based on a local club.
Brazilian media and the Kuwait news agency KUNA both agreed that
Brazil's opponents were a combination, not the national side.
Globo television said at the start of its broadcast that Brazil were
facing a combined 11 but slipped back to the Kuwait national team during
Brazil's opponents gave the game away by taking the field with
sponsorship on their all-white strip - which national teams are not
allowed to use.
Brazil also made eight substitutions, against the six allowed in
The five-times world champions barely moved above walking pace and there
was no serious tackling in a match which proved almost unwatchable.
The game was due to be played last November but was called off after
European clubs refused to release their players on the grounds that it
was not a full international.
It is not the first time Brazil have been involved in such confusion.
In 1999, Brazil arranged a friendly away to Spain on November 13 and
games on the other side of the world away to Australia on Nov. 14 and
Then coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo sent himself, top player Ronaldo plus
the under-23 team to Australia and a more senior squad to Spain.
In 1991, Brazil announced a friendly at home to Romania on April 17. But
the Romanians sent their B team as they were also involved in a match
away to Spain on the same day, which they won 2-0.
"Nobody had the slightest idea about this team, and the defender who was
going to mark Ronaldinho," said Carlos Alberto Vieira, a columnist with
the sports daily Lance.
"It was against this team that Brazil played a friendly which meant
nothing. What was this match for?"
The same newspaper's match report said: "Who knows why Brazil travelled
so far for a game of such low quality that it was not worthy of the
five-times world champions."
The Folha de Sao Paulo added: "The opponents were so little-known it was
difficult to identify them."
It added that Brazil's next match was in Stockholm against Ecuador on
Tuesday, saying: "After the heat of the desert, the team travelled to
the cold of Scandinavia."
Brazil are often criticised for playing matches against lightweight
In the last few years, the South American giants have pitted themselves
against the likes of Andorra, Hong Kong, Iceland, United Arab Emirates,
New Zealand, Malaysia, Panama and Swiss second division FC Lucerne.