Marco Polo Del Nero, head of the Brazilian soccer confederation, gives a press conference at the Brazilian Football Confederation upon return to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, May 29, 2015 (Photo: AP)
The president of the Brazilian Football Confederation, Marco Polo del Nero, said Friday he knew nothing about bribes allegedly paid to his arrested deputy Jose Maria Marin, rejecting calls to resign.
"It's impossible to resign. I'm not going to resign because I have nothing to do with this," he told a press conference at CBF headquarters in Rio de Janeiro.
He said it made him "sad" to see Marin arrested Wednesday along with six other top football officials on US charges of taking millions in bribes.
"It makes you very angry, perplexed because of everything that happened. But we have to look beyond friendship and do our job," he said.
He added he would cooperate with investigators and wanted to prove the CBF's innocence.
Del Nero flew home Friday morning from Switzerland, where he had been due to take part in FIFA's elections to choose the president of the world football governing body.
He said on arrival he wanted to "clarify" the situation after Swiss police arrested Marin and the other officials in a dawn raid on their Zurich luxury hotel.
Marin, 83, was CBF president from 2012 to 2015, and is a current member of the FIFA organizing committee for the Olympic football tournaments.
Del Nero, who was a CBF vice president under Marin, succeeded him last month, when Marin stepped down and became a vice president.
The CBF has stripped Marin of his post and removed his name from its headquarters building under FIFA's orders.
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