The Brazilian Ministry of Sports recently appointed the controversial Gustavo Perella to National Secretary of Soccer on Sunday, despite the new soccer chief garnering national attention back in 2013 when a helicopter registered under his name was seized by federal authorities with 445 kilos of cocaine onboard.
The appointment of Perella, who is part of the now ruling PMDB party, came on Friday, days after the country’s national soccer team was knocked out of the highly prestigious Copa America Centenario.
During a court testimony following the seizure of the helicopter, Perrella denied that he had any knowledge of the helicopter being used to transport illegal narcotics. He was later cleared of all charges after the Brazilian Federal Court ruled that the aircraft had been taken without his permission.
The pilot of the helicopter, who worked for then state deputy Perrella, was prosecuted for drug trafficking along with three other defendants.
Meanwhile, Perrella assumes his new post amid public backlash and concern regarding Brazil's dissapointing finish in the Copa America tourament.
The Brazilian’s squad’s early exit from the Copa America, the first time the team has failed to advance from the group stages since 1987, prompted the immediate firing of national team coach Dunga.
Although Brazil are the only country to have won the World Cup five times, its national team has suffered a significant decline over the past decade.