The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) is reportedly unhappy with Flamengo after the club decided to prevent talented striker Vinicius Junior from travelling to India for the U-17 World Cup. According to Spanish publication Marca, the CBF has criticised the club’s decision in an official statement.
Edu Gaspar, the general co-ordinator of the Brazil national team, has asserted that the CBF had informed all the clubs whose players are included in the Brazil U-17 squad about the federation’s plans in early September. “We called Sao Paulo for Brenner, Vasco for Paulinho and Flamengo for Vinicius. Sao Paulo and Vasco let their players come without any problems, but Flamengo had doubts,” Gaspar was quoted as saying by Marca.
“Vinicius Junior has nothing to do with this, he’s a good guy. He was very receptive from the beginning and was excited to be called up. I was counting on them (Flamengo) to have common sense,” he added. “I do not agree and we are all deeply disappointed with the club’s decision.”
According to Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte, Flamengo had an agreement with Vinicius Junior that the teenager was to be allowed to go to the U-17 World Cup only if the club won the Copa do Brasil title. As it turned out, Flamengo lost the final to Cruzeiro which meant Junior had to miss his flight to India which was scheduled for Friday.
The first leg of the final ended in a 1-1 draw on September 7 while last Wednesday’s second leg was goalless after regulation and extra-time with Cruzeiro finally winning 5-3 on penalties. “Yes, it is confirmed. We had made all the protocol to have him, the player had the visa to India, we were expecting him for tomorrow morning,” a CBF spokesman told ESPN.
“But today, Flamengo, after losing the Copa do Brasil final, decided to not allow him to travel.” If Flamengo had won the tournament, they would have qualified for next season’s Copa Libertadores — South America’s top club competition.