In recent years, President Jair Bolsonaro (in his party) weakened public sports policies in Brazil. This was the valuation of specialists and managers heard by Brazil in fact. Successive changes of command in front of the Special Secretariat for Sports are seen as a reflection of the militarization and distribution of positions to interest groups promoted by the federal government.
The organization is responsible for the Atleta Scholarship (Beca Atleta, in free translation), an individual sponsorship program promoted by the Executive since 2005, during the government of former President Lula (PT), which is responsible for financing 80% of them Brazilian competitors.
In 14 years, the program has distributed more than 1,100 million reais (approx. 220 million dollars), creating conditions for athletes to dedicate themselves to local, South American, Pan American, World, Olympic and Paralympic competitions.
In 2016, when the Olympic Games were held in Rio de Janeiro, 77% of athletes received the benefit, which is considered essential for athletes to maintain themselves, especially in the first stages of their careers.
Lea más: Brazilian athletes looking for medals and more incentives
The Bolsa Atleta program, as shown on the Olhar Olímpico website, takes 10 years without adjustments in the assigned benefits. Sportsmen from the student and youth categories, for example, can buy at least a basic food basket and pay the monthly transportation fee with the 370 reals offered by the government. Today, the value does not pay the mitad of a basic food basket in São Paulo.
The Brasil de Fato team interviewed, under the condition of anonymity, a federal official who works in contact with the organization and an expert on the subject. The positions of the delegates who spoke on the subject in recent months were also heard.
The lack of a Ministry of Sports in the federal government, and the fact that the current administration has extinguished this administrative structure, is one of the main points of criticism. The institution existed between 1995 and 2019, when it was incorporated into the Ministry of Citizenship by determination of Bolsonaro.
“It is possible to draw an analogy of Bolsonaro’s sports policies with what happened in the Ministry of Health during the pandemic. It is true that the government boycotted the fight against the coronavirus and militarized the ministry, but it is also aware that the SUS [Sistema Único de Salud] It is a policy that has remained firm, al servicio de la población”, dijo Pedro Cavalcanti, researcher of public policy at the Universidad de São Paulo (USP).
“In the case of sports, the Athlete Scholarship shows an expressive result in the Brazilian Olympic selection, despite the insufficient assumption and no adjustment, the absurd extinction of the ministry and the austerity applied by the government in the program”, he affirmed. historian.
The new Special Department of Sports has had three leaders. Them of the first fueron dismissed for their resistance to nominate the personas indicated by people close to the president. The first to command the ministry of General Marco Aurélio Costa Vieira. He was dismissed from 107 days in office, in April 2019.
At that time, according to the information published by Agência Estado, the reason for its departure was the intention of the government to replace it by João Manoel Santos Souza, the father of former senator João Alberto, who presides over the MDB of Maranhão, the same party of the former minister of Ciudadanía Osmar Terra. The nombramiento, however, was not concreted.
On April 29, 2019, Bolsonaro appointed General Décio Brasil as Special Secretary of Sports. In the next year, the military was also dismissed.
In an interview with Folha de S. Paulo, Décio Brasil attributed his resignation to the fact that he had resisted the nomination of Marcelo Magalhães for the position of chief of the Oficina de Gobernanza del Legado Olímpico. Magalhães is the patron of Flávio Bolsonaro’s wedding.
“It seems to me that the main reason was the reason that I was reluctant to nominate Marcelo Magalhães for the workshop in Rio — the Oficina de Gobernanza del Legado Olímpico, the organization that manages the Olympic Park in Barra — Maybe this is disgusted by the president , because my dismissal is accompanied by his nomination to my charge”, says the general.
Magellan was nominated for the new Special Secretary for Sports of the federal government in February 2020. The nomination of the godfather and the dismissal of Décio Brasil were signed by Bolsonaro and by Onyx Lorenzoni, who headed the Ministry of Citizenship after the Salida de Osmar Terra.
El veto on emergency aid
The management of Bolsonaro in sports during the pandemic was also harshly criticized for the vetoes of the project of Law 2824/2020, which was approved by the National Congress to help professionals in the sports sector during the pandemic.
The text of the proposal foresaw, among other things, the release of emergency aid with three amounts of 600 reais (approx. 120 USD) for sportsmen and other workers in the area who are facing difficulties.
Lea también: In addition to the Olympics, athletes are fighting for the presence of more women in sport
From the wording of PL 2824/2020 carried out in the Congress, the holder of the Executive also eliminated points such as the 1% to 2% increase in the deduction limit required for donations and sponsorships related to the Deportivo Incentive Law.
Asimismo, the mandate vetoed an article that would reactivate the Program for the Modernization of Management and Fiscal Responsibility for Football (Profut), created in 2015 to allow the renegotiation of the rights of sports clubs with the Union. The government said that the proposal was “inviable” and would not bring “expected financial relief” by the entities.
Edition: Rebeca Cavalcante