Brasïlia – Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, under investigation for tax evasion in Portugal, insisted Saturday that the “malicious” disclosure by Portuguese authorities would not affect his work for the World Cup.
“If it is a confidential inquiry, why has it been made public? Because it's something malicious,” Scolari said in an interview with Brazilian magazine Epoca.
Former Portugal coach Scolari was this week charged by Portuguese authorities with tax fraud, less than a month before the World Cup starts.
Scolari is accused of hiding about seven million euros ($9.6
million) in income when he was Portugal's coach between 2003 and 2008.
Describing it as “a problem to be resolved,” Scolari denied any wrongdoing and said that he was “not concerned” by the investigation as Brazil prepares to host the World Cup, which starts on June 12.
“I continue to do what I have to do Ä take care of the national team, be happy with the group I work with,” he explained.
“I'm going to welcome players, hug them, work with joy. And if later I have to take a different attitude, I'll do it. For now, that's my goal.”
Scolari coached Brazil to their World Cup triumph in 2002 and has returned to the national side for the campaign on home territory which they are favourites to win.
Portugal reached the final of Euro 2004 as hosts and the World Cup semi-finals in 2006 when Scolari was in charge.
The Portuguese inquiry is being carried out by the Central Department for Criminal Investigations and Penal Action (DCIAP). – Sapa-AFP