Brazil makes uniform change for Olympics
SHENYANG, China (AP) Brazil will not wear its regular official Nike uniform in the remainder of the Olympic tournament because of concerns it could affect Rio de Janeiro's bid for the 2016 Games.
Rules of the International Olympic Committee say that nations should not wear confederations' emblems on uniforms during the games, and Brazil's Nike jersey has the football confederation badge on it.
"The president of the Brazilian football confederation, Ricardo Teixeira, accepted the Brazilian Olympic Committee's request that the Olympic team did not wear the official jersey because it would blemish Brazil's bid to host the 2016 Olympics," the Brazilian football confederation said in a statement Saturday.
Rio de Janeiro is a finalist to host the games along with Chicago, Tokyo and Madrid, Spain. The IOC will select the host city in October 2009.
Brazil will still wear a Nike jersey, but without the confederation's badge.
"Teixeira decided to accept the committee's request to avoid any embarrassment or inconveniences to the city's bid for 2016," the football confederation statement said.
Brazil's national teams are sponsored by Nike, but the Brazilian Olympic delegation is sponsored by Olympikus, which was not happy that the football squads used uniforms from one of its competitors.
The Brazilian committee had said before the Beijing Games that it would not be in the nation's best interest to have one of its Olympic teams wearing different uniforms.
The Brazilian women's team will be the first to drop the official jersey for its match against North Korea on Saturday at the Shenyang Olympic Stadium. The men's team will do the same against New Zealand on Sunday, also in Shenyang.
Neither squad has ever won the Olympic gold medal for Brazil in football.
The Brazilian women lost the final of the 2004 Olympics in Athens to the United States. It also was fourth in Sydney in 2000 and in Atlanta in 1996, when women's football began at the Olympics.
The men's team won the silver medal twice, in 1984 in Los Angeles and 1988 in Seoul. It won the bronze in 1996 in Atlanta.
"All the players and the Brazilian people are proud of the jersey with the five stars on it," said Ronaldinho, referring to the uniform's emblem which reflects the team's five world titles in men's football. "We could still wear it, but if it gets in the way of Brazil's bid to host the 2016 Olympics, we have to understand it and accept it."
Brazil will host the 2014 World Cup.