Brasília, June 30, 2004 (Agência Brasil) - Soccer clubs promised to submit studies within 40 days to the Ministry of Social Security on their current situation and how they propose to pay off their US$ 129.9 million (R$ 404 million) debt to the Social Security system.
This was the decision reached yesterday (29) at a meeting in the Chamber of Deputy's Social Security Commission, with the participation of directors of clubs, state federations, and the Brazilian Soccer Confederation (CBF); representatives of the Social Security system; and Deputy Alexandre Cardoso (PSB//RJ), rapporteur of the special sub-commission dealing with the recovery of money owed to the Social Security System.
The studies should point out the reasons for the clubs' arrears with the INSS (National Social Security Institute), possible modifications in the laws, and how to renegotiate the debts. Sérgio Falcão, manager of the INSS's Soccer Segment Area, said that since1993, when the legislation was last changed, clubs and federations have accumulated debts, because they have failed to pass along the amounts discounted from employees' salaries. According to him, US$ 69.2 million (R$ 215 million) of the US$ 129.9 million (R$ 404 million) in debts are already active debt and "can no longer be questioned." Referring to the clubs' history of arrears with Social Security, Falcão observed that "the clubs are in need of more professional management."
The president of the Vasco da Gama club, Eurico Miranda, disputed the data presented by Falcão and asserted that the clubs are not tax evaders. "If a club neglected to pay, it's because it payed some other type of expense. There are clubs that owe nothing; the problem isn't as general as it's made out to be," he stated. For Miranda, "a large part of the social security legislation covering soccer clubs needs to be altered."
Reporter: Caio D'Arcanchy
Translator: David Silberstein