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Early in his first term, President Lula divided Sports and Tourism into two different ministerial portfolios. Thus, as of January 2003, Brazilian sports now had a ministry. This was a strategic change, which anticipated the important achievements of the country in the following years with the hosting of the Fifa World Cup and the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio.
The changes carried out on the Brazilian sports scene also led to important changes in the country's sport federations. In 2008, for example, the country's top basketball teams formed a National Basketball League, taking on the responsibility of organizing a Brazilian championship competition.
In recent years, several confederations have seen changes in command. Missing, however, was a rule that would promote democracy in these institutions, including as a way of improving their management.
So, in October 2013, President Dilma sanctioned Law 12.868/2013, which restricted to four years, with the right to only one re-election, the mandate of sports leaders of entities that receive federal funds and tax exemptions.
A passionate soccer fan, President Dilma took the lead in discussions on how to modernize the management of the sport. Dilma has been meeting with both club officials and with representatives of the "Bom Senso Soccer Club," a movement formed of players interested in "revolutionizing Brazilian football."
Among other measures, the Common Sense F.C. proposes streamlining the playing calendar, to ensure a better quality Soccer for the big teams and greater sustainability for small ones; changes in match schedules to benefit athletes and fans; and control over team finances, requiring them to spend only what they take in.
The main points on the discussion agenda are contained in a Sports Fiscal Responsibility bill being discussed in the National Congress, the creation of regulations to assure democratic participation of athletes in the meetings of the sport's various entities and the creation of a National Soccer Development Plan.
In recent years, Brazil has conquered a new position on the world sports scene.
Along with victories in sports in which we are historically strong like soccer, volleyball, swimming and judo, we also extended it to other areas, such as gymnastics, women's handball and Paralympic sports.
With a long-term view of the job to be done and high quality training, the women's handball team had a historic first place finish in the Handball World Championship in 2013 in Serbia. And at the London Olympic Games in 2012, Arthur Zanetti also obtained the first gymnastics medal in the country's history, winning the gold on the rings.
Brazil had the best performance in its history at the Paralympic Games in London, winning 21 gold medals and ensuring seventh overall ranking in the medals table.