Used to canceling events and breaking the calendar, CBJ president forgot, this time, he was acting against large corporations. He suffered a dramatical reverse of his decision and Brazil will host the Brasilia Grand Slam
August 23, 2019
By PAULO PINTO I Photos BUDOPRESS e IJF
Curitiba – PR
Following a unilateral and arbitrary decision, CBJ’s president reviewed an unthinkable decision that would significantly damage Brazilian judo and confirmed the hosting of the Brasilia Grand Slam from October 6-8.
Repeating the script and the same scenario we see in judo today, two weeks ago the event management of the Brazilian Judo Confederation (CBJ) had arbitrarily canceled the tournament, disregarding the commitment made with the International Judo Federation (IJF).
The note released by CBJ took by surprise representatives of the Federal District government, the Special Secretary of Sport and the sponsors of the entity that have been working in the event were anxiously waiting this great competition.
Distant justification from reality
Mirroring the degrading situation in which Brazilian judo finds itself, the justification presented by the president of the Brazilian confederation differs totally from what the other parties say. The worst is that the figures do not fit together.
In a statement published on July 17th, Silvio Acácio Borges stated that he had canceled the Brasilia Grand Slam due to lack of resources to fulfill the competition’s schedule. “All efforts related to raising the necessary resources in a timely manner for the event were exhausted,” said the official.
However, CBJ’s partners denied the justification presented by the president of the confederation. The unilateral decision turned out to be a big surprise for both the Secretary of State for Sports and Leisure and Bank of Bradesco, the entity’s main sponsor and with which it has a contract until 2020. According to information, the bank had already set aside extra funds to be able to hold the event.
Secretary Leandro Cruz regretted the situation and said that the money needed for the competition would be made available: “I can calmly say that we have no difficulty in complying with what was requested by CBJ. We reserved R$ 3 million so that everything could happen in the best possible way, including for the population. That was our obligation and we would fulfill it, the resource was reserved. It’s unfortunate what happened,” he added.
IJF presses and CBJ steps back
This would not be the first event cancellation of the International Judo Federation, and when this happens the world body immediately withdraws the competition from its calendar. But that’s not what happened this time.
To the surprise of many, including leaders from various countries who were aware of what was happening in Brazil, the IJF kept the Brasilia Grand Slam on its calendar and acted behind the scenes to make it happen. And thanks to the skill of the managers of the world entity, the event will be held on the dates and place previously scheduled.
Behind the scenes, we learned that in its final decision, the IJF threatened to impose a millionaire fine and impose sanctions in the sporting area, as happened recently with the Brazilian Basketball Confederation (CBB), which was suspended by the international federation for canceling an event on the last minute.
In making a unilateral decision, the geniuses of CBJ management forgot that they were not just changing the date of a Brazilian championship within a few weeks of its realization and that they were not causing recurrent financial and psychological harm to children, families and teachers, as has often been happening. This time they were messing with the interests of large entities and corporations. In addition to their strength and power, there were contracts with TV and negotiated broadcast with more than 130 countries. Breaches of contracts of this size result in unpayable fines.
Lacked maturity and expertise
The truth is that the team that today commands the Brazilian judo is lacking experience and maturity, since the guarantees to hold the Brasilia Grand Slam were on the table. CBJ’s high command lacked waist determination and courage.
We listened to Tiberio Maribondo, a member of CBJ’s Board of Directors, and the manager explained that the decision was made because the money of the event partners had not been credited.
“We made the decision based on the reality of the facts and did so because the values had not been credited. We could not risk having to support such damage”, said Maribondo, who is also president of the Rio Grande do Norte State Judo Federation (FJERN).
As we were informed by the team of the Federal District Special Sports Secretary, the deadline for filing was July 30th. Not to mention that this would be the fifth time the country has hosted a grand slam and certainly (has) sufficient credit with the world body. It lacked courage and determination.
Another important detail is the contractual clause stipulating a fine for withdrawal. Tiberio Maribondo stated that they were aware of the fine, and yet thought it right to risk taking technical punishments, paying the millionaire contractual fine and undermining the remaining prestige of a management that is gradually destroying CBJ’s reputation, hard-built by Paulo Wanderley Teixeira, current president of the Brazilian Olympic Committee.
Lacked of ethics and consideration
What is most striking about this process is the lack of ethics, consideration and even respect from CBJ managers to the partners and supporters of CBJ. On Wednesday 17th, one day after the cancellation notice, the Federal District Department of Sport and Leisure reported that the government’s staff had spent the afternoon of the previous day in a meeting with CBJ representatives to discuss the work plan of the Federal District. There was no talk about the confederation’s financial difficulties. Later, the announcement came informing about the cancellation of the tournament.
The Bank of Bradesco, mainly interested in hosting the Brasilia Grand Slam, was also not previously notified by CBJ managers. The unilateral decision shows the disrespect and unpreparedness of the people who should pay the least regard to the institutions and entities that invest in and subsidize it.
Judo is today the sport most strongly supported by private enterprise in Brazil, but in making unwise decisions – such as canceling a major event without consulting its supporters – CBJ officials show that they do not attach much importance to the status that sport, with the largest Olympic retrospective in the country, has won with institutions such as Cielo, Bank of Bradesco and Ministry of Sport.
Pathetic statement and Kohai syndrome
After the management shock imposed by the IJF and after everything was back to normal, the CBJ president woke up to reality and tried to update on the facts, giving a pathetic statement.
“In an open conversation by IJF, including our partners at the table, it was agreed that CBJ holds this event without jeopardizing its safety. This is good news and comes to the best of what we can offer to the world of judo, whether national or international”, said the director trying to give the impression that he was the great mentor and articulator of the resumption of the event.
To what safety did the CBJ manager refer if the Brasilia Grand Slam had been made economically viable before he even made the decision to cancel it?
In the following days there was no shortage of compliments to the president of CBJ on social networks. Regretful testimonials that reveal the x-ray of the Brazilian judoka: naive, innocent and subservient.
Not really knowing what had actually happened, Kodansha teachers from across the country and even IJF A referees hurried to congratulate and reverence the CBJ president, ignoring that it was precisely due to lack of courage, boldness, determination and even interest from the Brazilian official that the event had been canceled.
Were it not for the articulation of the leaders of the International Judo Federation in partnership with other agents and the weight of a millionaire fine, Brazil would certainly receive a series of sanctions inside and outside the tatami. Internationally we would have been the greatest joke of this Olympic cycle on the world stage and our athletes would have huge damages. But the worst is to pick up the cell phone and see apparently enlightened judokas (but not), bowing and congratulating the CBJ board on social networks.
The position of these judokas is, in our view, the great tragedy of the sport. With this subservient posture these teachers endorse a management that caused serious damage to Brazilian judo.
We always preach that, proportionally, sports have the same size as the capacity and courage of their managers. This is what differentiated and designed Brazilian judo in the media and sports scene in the recent past.
In the specific case of the CBJ president, I will be more explicit, remembering that we can measure a leader by the size of the challenges he takes. He always looks for something his own size. Maybe that’s why the CBJ president canceled the Brasilia Grand Slam.