Brazil coach Dunga has threatend to sue Romario, a fellow member of the 1994 World Cup-winning team, over corruption allegations.
Romario has claimed that Dunga accepts cash bribes from agents to grant call-ups to players, presumably in order to boost their transfer market value.
The feud between two of the star players on the 1994 team blew up when Romario, now a Senator, said that Dunga is “involved in the Brazilian football confederation’s dirty ways”.
“I don’t know if he is dirty, if he participates, but he is seeing everything,” Romario said. “He is not blind or stupid.”
The Daily Mirror suggests that a recent high-profile appointment at the Brazilian FA adds some credibility to the claim: “Brazil’s technical director, Gilmar Rinaldi, was an agent before assuming his role at the federation last year and works closely with Dunga,” the paper claims.
Dunga retaliated in fiery fashion, saying that Romario had “never been my friend”, demanding proof, and saying that he and Rinaldi are “looking at the legal measures available”.
“Like all Brazilians, senator Romario has the right to criticize the choice of players selected to represent Brazil,” Dunga said.
“But he doesn’t have the right to say, without proof, that selection is based on non-technical criteria. I repudiate declarations from somebody who calls himself a friend, but isn’t.
“Friendship requires respect, loyalty and utmost confidence in integrity. For that reason Romario has never been my friend and he is obligated to present the facts.”
Dunga also confirmed that he was “looking at the legal measures available with respect to the senator’s declarations”.