CBF want action taken on Diego Costa
The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has revealed that they want to strip Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa of his Brazilian citizenship following his decision to opt to play for Spain.
The Brazil-born player, who became a naturalised Spanish citizen in July, had been the focus of a tug-of-war between the two national federations since it emerged last month that he planned to switch allegiance from the country of his birth.
And now the CBF's juridic director Carlos Eugenio Lopes wants to see action taken against Costa, to prevent him from ever playing for Spain or Brazil again, following his two previous appearances for the Selecao in friendlies.
"It's obvious that the reason he made that choice was financial," Lopes told O Globo. "The chairman [Jose Maria Marin] authorised me to open a legal action at the Justice Ministry requesting that he loses his Brazilian citizenship, which Diego Costa has rejected.
"I have no doubt that he was allured. He suffered two hours of peer pressure from the Spanish on Monday night and another two hours on Tuesday morning. Diego Costa talks about love on the letter he sent CBF, but he chose Spain in the same year he played two friendly matches for Brazil and now on the same week he has been called up for two other friendlies.
"CBF was willing to fight for the player. Legally, our arguments are pretty strong because the friendlies are good enough for the FIFA ranking. Switzerland's 1-0 win over Brazil was what helped them go up to seventh and guaranteed them as head of selection for the World Cup draw. If they didn't consider the friendlies, would Switzerland have been seventh? No, that spot would've gone to Italy.
"The chairman told me that Costa has proved he's not fit to be part of the [Brazil coach Luis Felipe] Scolari family, that he would contaminate the family because he's not committed to Brazil, but to Spain. He rejected his Brazilian citizenship. Marin has asked me to study the situation deeply in order to keep him from ever playing for Spain. He told me that, from now on, Costa is 'persona non grata' at the national team and that the players themselves wouldn't welcome him because of that episode."
Meanwhile, Costa, who informed FIFA and the CBF of his decision with a letter, has said “it was a tough decision" but he felt "valued" in Spain in a video on Atletico’s official website.
"It was a complicated decision to choose between the country where I was born and the country that has given me everything, that is Spain," he said. "I thought about it and the correct thing to do was to play for Spain. All that I have in my life this country has given me. Here is where I feel my worth.
"At no moment did I renounce Brazil, I didn’t think about it in that way. Simply it is that here I feel valued, here I have made my career. It was a well thought decision but it is not a renouncement. I have family in Brazil, where I was born and when I retire I am going to live there. I hope that people understand and respect my decision because it was difficult."
A paperwork issue reportedly stopped Costa, the current leading scorer in La Liga, from playing for Spain in their recent World Cup qualifiers.
Scolari had since called him into a provisional squad for his side's friendlies next month.
Costa, though, believes he has made the right choice and is looking forward to playing for Spain.
"I made it very clear to the people [Spanish Football Federation] who came to speak with me and the coach that the group had to be in agreement," he said. "If the decision was correct for the good of the group, I was delighted.
"To defend Spain's jersey is a big deal for a player. At any time that Vicente [Del Bosque] recalls me and I can play five or ten minutes, whatever it is, I am going to give it my all. I am going to give whatever it takes for the Spanish national team."