The Brazil great last month announced his intention to run but admitted he may struggle to attract the five necessary nominations.
Now his home association has set the ball rolling, promising to endorse his candidacy if he can secure enough nominations to get on the ballot paper.
“Zico has our support to pursue his candidacy”, a statement from CBF president Marco Polo Del Nero said. “If he gets the other four signatures, the CBF will back his application.”
The 62-year-old said he was “happy with the response,” which he called a “kick-start” for his bid to succeed Sepp Blatter.
But he faces an uphill battle, with Michel Platini understood to have the backing of four of world football’s six confederations.
Candidates must declare by October 26, with the vote taking place on February 26 next year.