CBF could end Brazil WNT’s residency program

The Equalizer Staff August 22, 2016 20
Marta is consoled after Brazil's semifinal loss to Sweden. (Photo: USA Today)

Marta is consoled after Brazil’s semifinal loss to Sweden. (Photo: USA Today)

The Brazilian federation is reportedly considering ending the funding of a permanent residency program for its women’s national team following a fourth-place finish on home soil at the 2016 Olympics.

Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte reports that informal conversations revealed such thinking within the CBF, with more formal meetings on the subject to follow in the coming days.

The CBF announced in February 2015 that it would create a residency program for its women’s national team ahead of the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, with the Rio 2016 Games always being the primary target for a gold medal (the original plan was for the residency to run through the end of the Olympics). But after a relatively strong group stage highlighted by a 5-1 thumping of Sweden, Brazil fell short of the podium, bowing out to the Swedes in penalty kicks in the semifinal and losing to Canada, 2-1 in the bronze-medal match.

Brazil’s women’s team has never won an Olympic gold medal nor a World Cup title, finishing second at the World Cup in 2007 and taking home silver medals in 2004 and 2008.

[LAULETTA: Takeaways from the Rio 2016 Olympic women’s soccer tournament]

A decision by the CBF to cut funding of a permanent residency program would not necessarily be insurmountable for the women’s national team, depending on how those resources were then reallocated (for example, investing in women’s club teams and bolstering its domestic league, or using the money for more frequent training camps with more friendlies in the down years ahead). There were strong indications over the prior to the CBF’s decision to go into residency that Brazil would partner with the NWSL to pay the club salaries of its national-team players, just as U.S. Soccer and Canada Soccer subsidizes player salaries.

But the CBF’s long track record of neglecting its women’s national team makes the news concerning, and the fourth-place finish at the Olympics – combined with a disappointing exit in the Round of 16 at last year’s World Cup – could be seen as justification to cut funding for the women’s team.

Captain and five-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta pleaded into the camera of a Brazilian media outlet following her team’s defeat in the bronze-medal game, asking that Brazilian fans continue to support women’s soccer. The team received unprecedented support throughout the Olympics in what were rare home matches. Boisterous, sell-out crowds supported the women’s team, particularly as it thrilled early in the tournament and Brazil’s men’s team stumbled out of the gate.

“I ask the Brazilian people now, keep on supporting us, keep on supporting Brazilian women’s football,” she told reporters. “We need you so much.”

[LAULETTA: Five reasons the USWNT lost in the quarterfinals]

The scoring well dried up for Brazil’s women’s team, however, as the team went 413 minutes between goals in the tournament. Its saving grace was defense; Brazil didn’t give up a goal for 356 minutes, finally conceding again to Canada in the bronze-medal match.

Brazil’s men’s national team, led by Neymar, won its first Olympic gold medal on Saturday, defeating Germany in penalty kicks.

  • AlexH

    Residency programs suck because they basically divide the soccer player pool into insiders and outsiders. They are effective to maximize the talent that you have on hand for the moment but they stifle up and comers and forces them to make themselves in the image what the gatekeepers at the program want rather than becoming the best soccer player they can be. If Brazil reallocates their money elsewhere it will be better for the program.

    • ARED

      I agree. The problem is it’s probably harder to do (well).

      The USA shows this -they are way better off with a league if they can manage it, but certainly it has not been easy to keep leagues alive let alone thriving. And even when you have the league, you still have to have a national team program which comes together and brings in all the best/right players, instead of just the same ones you would without a league.

  • Ashley C

    I have absolutely no faith or trust in the CBF to correctly invest in women’s football there. Especially because we know how difficult it is to build a sustainable league even in the NWSL – which still has a lot of problems and is far from in the clear in terms of longevity. I’d imagine supporting their players via the NWSL would be an easier bet at the moment.

    • Observatio

      At least NWSL in the same time zones as Brazil.

      • TsovLoj

        I mean, kind of. Rio and Portland are 4 hours apart.

        • ARED

          Much closer than China…

  • Camoes

    Really odd that Brazil is worse now than ten years ago. Or, other teams are just better. IMHO, they need several camps a year to maintain group discipline. LOL at joining the word “discipline” with Brazilian futbol.

  • newsouth

    i was just for show for the olympics and world cup. CBF is full of thieves. They’d prefer to launder those reais into their own pockets as usual.

  • dw

    Bunch of
    (can I say that?)

  • ARED

    I agree with all the doubts, just as I doubt any soccer federation -including US Soccer, who hasn’t exactly seemed to effective use its resources/power at times. But at this moment this change could be actually a good thing, but it depends on what happens next….

  • braSil

    Still, 99.99% of our players are better than 99.99% of american players. Anyone who disagrees is american.

    • Camoes

      7-1 Germany over Brasil in WC 2014. Great players, but not on the Brasil side.

    • Breakers fan

      Maybe in the men’s game but you’re COMPLETELY out of your mind if you think that’s true on the women’s side.

      • braSil

        Your best player is Tobin Heath, but her best goal was/is dating Press

        • Breakers fan

          Why do I think that all you look at or care about is how fancy someone can be at dribbling? I don’t deny the importance of ball control but you have to look at a player’s complete game. Heath can make bad decisions though I’ve been on her side on the whole for many years. Who else on the US team do you think is good? Or do we just have 1 good player on a team that has won so often?

          • braSil


          • Breakers fan

            Ok, thanks for your opinion. Interesting that you don’t think any other US players are good.

  • Miami66

    After such strong fan support why would the federation not support their team in some way?

    • braSil

      Why in fact, was not a “support” but just another opportunity to distraction, and party. Also, Brazilians wanted Brazil wins as a way to get back at Hope Solo. Yes, Solo is very famous here and her photos on instagram were important to all people know that there is women’s football in Brazil.

  • braSil

    I wonder since when Brazil or most Brazilians give importance to the women’s team.