Brazil's Bolsonaro says UAE wants to buy two Brazilian soccer teams

FILE PHOTO: Botafogo players pose for a team group photo before a match at Nilton Santos Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - September 8, 2019 REUTERS/Sergio Moraes/File Photo

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday that the United Arab Emirates wants to buy two soccer teams in Brazil.

Bolsonaro, who has just returned from a trip to the UAE, did not give any details about which teams, but said he suggested Rio de Janeiro's Botafogo. His sons support the club.

"The Emirates have 12 soccer teams outside their country, and they want two teams here in Brazil," he said on a weekly video address on social media.

The most well-known club owned by the UAE, via its Mubadala Investment Company sovereign wealth fund, is Britain's Manchester City, managed by Pep Guardiola. The president's son, Eduardo Bolsonaro, said Manchester City's Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak was present at meetings with the Brazilian delegation.

This year, Bolsonaro signed off on a law that allows Brazilian soccer clubs to operate as companies, which would allow them to enter into sale negotiations with foreign bidders.

(Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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