FIFA has issued a warning to the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) that it can suspend the country’s national teams and clubs from international competitions provided an intervention by the soccer body results in the election of a new president in January 2024.

FIFA said in a letter to the Brazilian football body that the country’s soccer body CBF could face suspension if it holds a swift election to replace Ednaldo Rodrigues as president of the body.

A Rio de Janeiro court removed Rodrigues and all his appointees at CBF from office on December 7 due to irregularities in his election last year. Brazil’s two highest courts upheld that ruling last week.

The Rio court ruling also named José Perdiz, the head of Brazil’s top sports court, as an intervener to organize new elections for the presidency within 30 working days. FIFA said in previous letters to CBF it considers the intervention to be undue.

The letter was signed by FIFA’s Kenny Jean-Marie, its chief members’ association officer, and CONMEBOL’s deputy secretary-general, Monserrat Jiménez Garcia.

FIFA and South American soccer body CONMEBOL also said in the letter they will form a commission to discuss the matter in Brazil on January 8.

Soccer’s governing body FIFA has always rejected government and third-party interference in its member associations, which ultimately could leave five-time World Cup winners Brazil out of major competitions until the crisis is solved.

“FIFA and CONMEBOL would like to strongly emphasize that, until such mission takes place, no decision affecting CBF, including any elections or call for elections, shall be taken. Should this not be respected, FIFA will have no other option but to submit the matter to its relevant decision-making body for consideration and decision, which might also include a suspension,” the letter said.

“For the sake of good order, we would also like to underline that should CBF be eventually suspended by the relevant FIFA body, it would lose all of its membership rights with immediate effect and until the suspension is lifted by FIFA. This would also mean that CBF representative and clubs teams would no longer be entitled to take part in any international competition while it is suspended,” it added.

The document also says that any irregular interference in its member associations “can lead to sanctions as provided for in the FIFA Statutes, including a suspension, and this even if the third-party influence was/is not the fault of the member association concerned.”

Perdiz said in a statement he sees FIFA’s letter “as a positive sign.” He also added he will “call for the elections within the established deadline, with the transparency and integrity that are demanded.”

Rodrigues first took the job as interim president in 2021 after his predecessor Rogério Caboclo was suspended. Local media reported he is currently in negotiations with other Brazilian soccer executives to either bid again for the presidency in new elections or to support another candidate.