October 24 - The future of under-fire Brazilian Sports Minister Orlando Silva continues to remain uncertain despite receiving the backing of the country's President Dilma Rousseff after yet further corruption charges emerged against him.
Silva was forced to rush back to Brazil from the Pan American Games here last week, after allegations - published in Veja magazine - said he aimed to embezzle as much as $23 million (£14.6 million/€16.7 million) for himself and his Communist party over eight years by allegedly awarding fraudulent Government contracts for a number of projects, including one that promotes sport for poor children.
The Sports Minister furiously denied the claims but now further accusations have come from influential Brazilian national newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo who claim to have seen documents showing that Silva's wife received public money from a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) controlled by members of Silva's Communist Party.
The allegations say that the documents show that the NGO had illegally contracted a firm owned by Silva's wife and paid her $24,553 (£15,353/€17,630) for research work.
The fresh accusations come just days after Silva's showdown talks with Rousseff where she promised to stand by her beleaguered Sports Minister.
"Before the President, I unmasked all the lies that have been perpetrated against me," Silva said following the talks.
"The President recommended I keep on with my work.
"She showed herself to be perfectly calm and attentive to all my explanations."
In a statement following the meeting, the President said: "The Government doesn't condemn anyone without proof and believes in the civilized principle of presumed innocence."
Silva was named Sports Minister by popular former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (pictured left) back in 2006 and is currently the only Minister from Brazil's Communist Party that is part of Rousseff's Coalition Party after he maintained his high-ranking position when she came to power at the beginning of the year.
Rousseff not want to let Silva go due to the fact that he is the Government lead on both FIFA 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games and has been involved in both major projects from their very beginnings.
Silva's departure could spell catastrophe for the two major sporting events in Brazil, particularly the 2014 World Cup which has been heavily criticised by FIFA due to the serious delays to construction and organisation.
The Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympics however, appears to be in better shape at present after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Coordination Commission praised the city and Organising Committee when they last visited earlier this year in June.
Rousseff will also be reluctant to see Silva go because since she took over as President in January, four Ministers have resigned or been sacked after being accused of corruption despite all denying any wrongdoing.
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