SCOLARI IN SWIPE AT EURO CLUBS
By Philip Seery
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen are reluctant to release Rivaldo, Giovanne Elber and Lucio respectively for what they view as a meaningless game, much to the annoyance of the Brazil supremo.
"Perhaps the Europeans want to clear a strong competitor out of the way to help them win the World Cup," claimed Scolari.
Brazil are in real danger of not qualifying for the 2002 World Cup currently lying fourth, the final automatic qualification spot, with Colombia and Uruguay breathing down their neck.
The Panama friendly is expected to be shooting practice for Brazil as they look to improve team morale and confidence for the crucial game against Paraguay on August 15.
The Brazilian Confederation of Football (CBF) announced that they would demand sanctions from Fifa, even though the world governing body of football have backed Barcelona on the Rivaldo issue.
"We fulfilled all the Fifa norms in the call-up and legal causes do not exist for the European clubs to refuse to give up their players," said the co-ordinator of the Brazilian team, Antonio Lopes.
According to Fifa, players must be handed over three days before friendlies and five before senior games.
Lopes said that Rivaldo telephoned him to explain his situation and alleged that 'there was a very great pressure on the part of Barcelona to play on Wednesday', in the Champions League qualifiers against Wisla Cracovia.
The secretary general of the CBF, Marco Antonio Teixeira, declared that the actions that the organisation will take will only come into effect after the game against Paraguay.
"Now, our only pre-occupation is the game with Paraguay and that the team makes the best preparation possible," said Teixeira.