FIFA
#Member associations

Brazil's unique technical department

Ricardo Bretas, 16 Mar 2023

FIFA
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The Technical Department of the Brazilian Football Federation [CBF], exists to 'support' rather than go 'inside the operations' of the many different divisions and expertise to which it serves, says CBF Technical Leader, Ricardo Bretas.

Learning

  • How Brazil's Technical Department provide strategic and project management support across the organisation

  • How to support other departments by developing unique skills that are absent in other areas

  • The importance of scheduling weekly slots to communicate with key individuals across your organisation

Structured support

"In many other national governing bodies, you will see there are many national teams under the Technical Director. However, within the CBF we are organised totally differently." 

"The technical area in CBF works with many divisions in a very structured way," says Bretas, who joined the CBF in 2018 and whose professional experience includes consultancy roles in sports, business, and finance.

"The CBF men's national team has a co-ordinator, who works similar to a director, and under him is the head coach. The same set-up is used with the youth national team categories and also the women's national team. 

"Each team has a co-ordinator who is a former champion of one of our national teams. Therefore, their expertise is at a level of excellence. I rely on their experiences to design development projects together. So, the technical department in which I work are not trying to go inside this operation but to support them."

Providing strategic and project management across a variety of departments

Bretas and his team provide many forms of support for all of the departments in the organisation as required by specific projects.

"We have a characteristic that I think is very unique within the organisation," explains Bretas. "We are known inside CBF as the project area: prioritizing projects aligned with the presidency's strategy and the technical needs of football in our country.

"In addition to planning focused on long-term benefits, we control many aspects of the projects such as the budget and the compliance of the process of purchasing or of payments. Everything related to this, passes through us. So, we do the double-check and guarantee that our reporting is very good and very clear."

It means Bretas's experience within the CBF has seen him contribute to a variety of projects including VAR, refereeing, financial aid for regional football, expansion of women's and youth competitions, international tournaments for youth national teams and social projects for children.

However, the biggest project Bretas is responsible for is managing the FIFA Legacy funding from the 2014 Men's World Cup in Brazil. 15 'development' centres are being built in areas of the country that did not receive new investment as a result of the tournament, explains Bretas.

"We call it a development centre, not a training centre, because it will be used for competitions: youth and women's competitions. Each centre will be run by the local state federation.

"Each centre will also run social projects. CBF has created a methodology for social development and to educate children in social abilities using practical football classes. So, inside the development centres social development is a main objective of the Legacy."

By the time the project is complete each of Brazil's 27 states will have been positively impacted from the FIFA Legacy fund.

"The cities that had the games in 2014 won new stadiums and infrastructure. So, the other states that didn't receive this investment should now be the focus. At the end of this project, all 27 states in Brazil will have a legacy from the World Cup.

"Some of the state federations don't have many resources and some will even change their administration offices to this building. So, it's an important project for football in Brazil."

Building stronger relationships across the organisation

The World Cup Legacy project means Bretas has worked closely with the finance and legal departments in the allocation of funding. However, he is aware that strong relationships must be developed across the organisation if the CBF's 'unique' organisational set-up is to continue to be a success.

"I need to get closer to the key people in the football technical areas," explains Bretas. "I want to be talking with the national leader of youth national teams - men's and women's - as well as the CBF academy, who look after coach licensing, at least once a week.

"To meet with them each week is not only for the purpose of planning, but to share and listen. I have established a personal routine where I have assigned one hour each day to go and talk with a key figure in one of these departments." 

Close
Bretas emphasises building bonds with people across the CBF

Summary

  • Brazil's Technical Department acts to support and work alongside other key departments in the organisation 

  • Brazil's Technical Department provides support with strategic direction and project management

  • Assign time each week to speak with key individuals in influential positions 

Reflection

  • How could the role of Technical Leader, as described in the article above, help in your organisation? 

  • How often do you schedule meetings with key people in your organisation? Do you need to do more or less of this? 

  • How do you want your department to be 'known' within your organisation? What skills and characteristics do you want to be renowned for?

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