Brazil lawmaker named sports minister

BRASILIA, Oct 27, 2011 (AFP) - Lawmaker Aldo Rebelo was named Brazil's new sports minister on Thursday, taking on the task of organizing the 2014 World Cup after his predecessor resigned amid corruption allegations.

"I appreciate the confidence, which I accept as a great challenge," Rebelo told reporters after meeting with President Dilma Rousseff, her office said in a statement.

Rebelo, 55, has served as head of Brazil's lower-house Chamber of Deputies and is known as an ally of Rousseff's government. He now has been given the key task of organizing both the World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

He will also need to clean up his ministry, with his predecessor Orlando Silva now the target of a formal probe over allegations that he was involved in kickback schemes through social programs funded by his ministry.

Silva was the fifth member of Rousseff's government forced to step down in under five months after being accused of misappropriation of public funds. He has denied all allegations made against him.

Both Silva and Rebelo are members of the Communist Party of Brazil, which is an ally of Rousseff's ruling Workers Party.

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