The latest piece of news from within Palmeiras is to leave anyone speechless. We start with the gentleman to your right, Mr Piraci Oliveira, Palmeiras’ juridical director. Mr Oliveira is also a close ally to former president Mustafá Contursi, fierce opponent of the New Arena ever since the dawn of man. For these people, the less you hear about the New Arena, the better.

Turns out Palmeiras were very close of being left out of the FIFA list of suitable stadiums for hosting national teams, training sessions and official games of the Confederation Cup 2013 and the World Cup 2014. Why? Because Mr Oliveira first ignored the deadlines to submit the appropriate documentation to the Local Organising Committee (COL), then confirmed Palmeiras lack of interest to that same body; all this without consulting Palmeiras president Tirone.

There’s only one appropriate word for this: treason. Mr Oliveira has deliberately acted in a way that would have severely harmed Palmeiras as an institution had it not been discovered in time. Thankfully, Tirone has personally reiterated to COL Palmeiras’ wish to participate in the abovementioned events and COL has promptly asked Palmeiras to provide the necessary documentation in order to include the club on the list. And with that sorted out, one could assume that president Tirone would already be looking for a new juridical director, right? Wrong.

Mr Tirone contacted journalist Danilo Lavieri at iG (yes, him again) and explained that it all boiled down to “lack of communication” and that Mr Oliveira would remain as is. “He’s my director and has his own opinion, but we’re ready to help the government and the (World) Cup. Palmeiras are always ready to help the government, don’t you agree?” he said.

I have no idea what to make out of this mess but two things: a) it’s clear that Palmeiras have no firm hand on the steering wheel, and b) the rats are not only numerous but powerful.

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