Brazilian Football Federation Demands Diego Costa Is Stripped of Citizenship

Christopher AtkinsContributor IOctober 31, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14:  Diego Costa of Atletico de Madrid celebrates scoring their second goal during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and UD Almeria at Vicente Calderon Stadium on September 14, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has demanded that striker Diego Costa be stripped of his citizenship, having opted to play international football for Spain.

Costa, 25, is the top scorer in Spain this season and has been persuaded to represent La Roja rather than his homeland, per Declan Warrington of the Daily Mail Online, despite having played two friendly games for Brazil earlier this year.

While the Brazilian government has rejected the request, CBF's judicial director Carlos Eugenio Lopes expressed the organisation's anger Wednesday, per's Henry Jackson:

It's obvious that the reason he made that choice was financial. 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. CBF was willing to fight for the player. Legally, our arguments are pretty strong because the friendlies are good enough for the Fifa ranking.

The chairman told me that Costa has proved he's not fit to be part of the 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.

While there will doubtlessly be some who support the CBF in its strong stance against Costa after his decision, there will be many more who consider the statement a worrying overreaction from an organisation with plenty of its own issues to be concerned with.

Costa has dual nationality, and thus, he is fully entitled to decide which of the two countries he wishes to represent—as long as everything is handled within FIFA rules.

Brazil may not agree with the current rules that FIFA has in place, but that is an issue to be taken up with the world governing body rather than with the player.

To talk of stripping a player's citizenship—which would have a major effect on his legal rights—is a far from justified reaction to what is ultimately a decision as to in which side he wishes to play football.

Any attempt to stop Costa representing Spain, assuming he meets FIFA's rules, would also be somewhat on the player and his right to work wherever he chooses.

The CBF has previously never paid much attention to Costa yet is now shocked that he would choose to represent Spain—the country where he has made himself known as a footballer.

It is fair to say that, if selected, the Atletico Madrid forward will be in for a rough reception when he arrives "home" for the World Cup next summer in the colours of Spain.

Supporters, by their nature, are entitled to express their opinions as long as all is kept civil. The CBF, though, does not do itself any credit by involving itself in such matters.