According to a report in Brasilia’s O Camapu newspaper, Rousseff intended to send a $200 million wire transfer to certain members of the German Football Association but due to a technical error at one of Brazil’s state-owned banks, the payment was never made.
Germany went on to embarrass Brazil in a 7-1 match that counts as one of the worst defeats in the history of the World Cup.
“A young man in my office was supposed to double-check that the transfer was completed,” Rousseff told reporters at a press conference in Brasilia. “Unfortunately, he did not adequately perform his duties and he is therefore no longer employed here.
“Obviously the most important part about competing in the World Cup is paying your bribes in full and on time. I take responsibility for our failure to do so and I ask the Brazilian people for forgiveness.
“I promise that if I am reelected I will hire BNP Paribas to handle all of our bribes in 2018. They’re the experts in illegal financial transactions and will help us achieve victory in Russia.”
Brazil and Germany both have storied histories at the World Cup, with eight championships between them and each having been finalists seven times.
Yesterday’s match was thus supposed to be a battle of giants, with Brazil favored as the host team. Instead it became one of the most lopsided routs in sports history.
Although some blame the team’s poor performance on poor coaching and injuries, most agree that the failure to properly pay off the opposing side was the deciding factor. Included in that group is Rafael Cardoso, the former presidential intern who is now the most hated man in Brazil.
“Fixing football matches is a time-honored Brazilian tradition,” he told a local television station. “When my nation called upon me to make payments to Chile and Colombia, I proudly performed this duty.
“However, yesterday I failed my nation. And I sincerely apologize to my countrymen for screwing up this bribe. I have no excuse. And I beg for my nation’s mercy.”
Meanwhile in Rio de Janeiro many on the street are calling for Rousseff’s resignation over the affair.
“I don’t mind the stagnant economy and massive inflation,” says Mariana Santos, a nursing student. “But losing 7-1 in a World Cup semifinal is unacceptable.
“Argentina never has this problem. They know how to get things done.”