The new Minister of Sports, André Fufuca, differs from his predecessor, Ana Moser, and assesses that electronic games, so-called eSports, are sports.
In an interview with SheetFufuca says that the department will even have a board focused on the topic, called e-sports.
“Logical [que é esporte]. Look at the number of people who practice this. There is every event there. He has [campeonato] worldwide, it has everything. And it moves an absurd amount of people”, said the new minister, who intends to encourage this area.
The position diverges from the understanding of its predecessor. “In my opinion, electronic sports is an entertainment industry, it is not a sport. So you have fun playing video games, you had fun. The esports athlete trains, but Ivete Sangalo also trains to put on a show and she is not an athlete, she is an artist who works in entertainment”, said Moser to UOL.
“The electronic game is not unpredictable, it is designed by digital, cybernetic programming. It is a programming, it is closed, different from sport”, continued the former minister. Moser advocated that the topic be placed under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture or Science and Technology.
The president of the COB (Brazilian Olympic Committee), Paulo Wanderley, shares the same opinion expressed by Moser. “If it is within our way of thinking about Olympism, values such as respect, excellence, friendship, solidarity, we will do [uma equipe]. Otherwise, only in the next incarnation”, said Wanderley.
The goal of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) is for this to happen much sooner. The entity treats the entry of eSports into the Olympic program as a matter of time. They would take the place of sports that are losing appeal among new generations, the target audience of the committee’s executives.
As shown by Sheetthe creation of a sector in the department focused on “games” was part of the government’s negotiation for the PP to accept the ministry.
Initially, the party insisted on running the Ministry of Social Development or another of the same size, which is why Fufuca negotiated to boost Sports before taking over.
Fufuca took leave from his position as federal deputy and took office as minister this Wednesday (13) in a ceremony that was boycotted by Moser.
The former athlete did not hide her discomfort at having been fired from her position to accommodate the center. She even requested that the act confirming her dismissal not contain the expression “upon request” in order to make it clear that the decision had not come from her.
According to Fufuca, Lula asked for “a lot of commitment” from the head of the department and asked the minister to prioritize specific points.
“It’s an area that he is very concerned about. And he asked that we could advance some programs that he considers very important that have worked in the past.” “An example is the second half program, the democratization of quality sport, that is, the basic structure that several cities in the country do not have, as well as towns, quilombola districts, villages”, said Fufuca.
The new minister also said that he intends to bring the women’s football World Cup to Brazil in 2027, which was already his predecessor’s plan.
“It’s a project that we must launch, we will fight for the 2027 place in the women’s football world cup, it will be one of our objectives”, he stated. According to him, it will be an action coordinated by several ministries and the decision will only be made next year.
Fufuca also stated that he will seek to increase the size of the ministry’s Budget to finance the sector.
“I’m talking about financial support for athletes. Most athletes have to have a second job to be able to pay for their sport compared to other countries that invest in sport.”
However, Esporte has one of the smallest budgets in the government. Therefore, Fufuca intends to increase the department’s budget to implement more policies in the sector. “These are big dreams, but Congress and the benches [partidárias] have sensitivity.”
“I want and will make it possible for this budgetary issue so that we can develop this issue of structuring quality sports in our country to a large extent. So that we can move forward with this and advance in parasports. These are two areas that I want to leave my brand.”
Upon taking office this Wednesday, the minister rejected criticism that he does not dominate the area and asked people to judge him by the management he will have at the head of the department.
“Don’t tell me that you don’t know the sports sector and that’s why I won’t be a good minister. What I don’t know, I will learn. So say yes, that I know how Parliament works, the needs of our mayors for our municipalities “, stated Fufuca.
Earlier, Fufuca had said that Brazilian sport has “almost zero quality” and that he intends to bring about a revolution in the area.
“And the second and main objective and mission given by President Lula is to be able to have a revolution in national sport. When I say a revolution, I say it at the beginning, which is the democratization of sport.”
“We cannot talk about a sporting revolution at a time when we have a sport of almost zero quality in the country. We have a lot to advance, a lot to grow, and you can be sure that here is a young man with willingness, a desire to work and with humility so that it can grow together with everyone in Brazilian national sport”, he said.