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Wednesday, 25 March, 1998, 00:23 GMT
Pele Law on sports introduced in Brazil

A new law, sponsored by the Brazilian Sports Minister, the former footballer, Pele, has come into force, aimed at modernising the country's sports industry.

The Pele Law forces professional sports clubs to observe business law and pay tax within two years.

By the year 2001, players' contracts will no longer tie them to the clubs which take them on as teenagers.

The law also allows clubs to organise their own leagues, breaking the monopoly of official organisations such as the Brazilian Football Confederation.

Pele described the legislation, which was strongly opposed by soccer organisations, as one of the most difficult goals of his life.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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