Teams: SPORTING CP & Portugal NT
Sporting beat Penafiel 3-1 but ended up second in the group thus missing the passage to the semi finals. That happened because although we finished with the same goal difference of Porto (+5), they scored one more goal than us.
I've said it in the first sentence of this thread and I maintain it: the League Cup is a freak competition that has little reason to exist. It is in any case a trophy for which Sporting always showed respect, even if we were victims of a scandalous referee mistake a few seasons ago that took us the chance of reaching the final, the famous Lucílio Affair. On the contrary, Porto always diminished the competition, no doubt because they never managed to win it but also because it is something created by Hermínio Loureiro, a sworn enemy of Pinto da Costa.
This serves as an introduction simply to show that, in our football, just like in our country, those that respect the law and try as much as possible to play by the book end up too often not taking any advantage of it. Our football, just like our country, is ruled by a gang of corrupt people that do as they like because they know they will get away with it, and maybe even end up getting a state honour. No wonder Portugal is in the pitiful state that we are.
So, here are the facts about what happened last Saturday.
Porto started (on purpose) their game 3 minutes after ours, even when the rules of the competition state clearly that such a behaviour entails the expulsion from the tournament.
They scored an offside goal in their game against Penafiel, in the second round of this group stage, that ended up being decisive in the final standings.
They were awarded a more than dubious penalty on the 97th minute of their last game against Marítimo, which gave them the necessary 3 points to win the group.
Their game was refereed by Manuel da Mota, the same referee that less than one month ago called off a perfectly valid goal in our league match against Nacional, which took two points away from us
All this is simply one small anecdote in the neverending series of sordid affairs involving Porto. Everybody knows it and nobody does anything about it.
In fact I should say that nobody DID anything about it until now.
Sporting's Board introduced recently a series of proposals to change Portuguese football. They were done by a series of experts and deal with different aspects of the game - from refereeing, to the taxation of footballers and clubs or even the way contracts with youth players are defined. The club invited all the professional clubs currently playing in our football's two top divisions in order to discuss these proposals. 23 of the 33 clubs invited accepted our invitation. Three of those that did not show up (Estoril, Atlético and Nacional), apologized for their absence and declared being interested in the results of the discussion but couldn't be present at the meeting. It is interesting to know exactly which clubs weren't there and did not answer to the invitation. Here are their names: Porto, Braga, Paços de Ferreira, Marítimo, Olhanense, Académica and Portimonense.
Furthermore, the president of the organ that controls football referees in Portugal said a couple of days before the League Cup circus that "(...) Sporting's proposals bring nothing to our football (...)".
It's a beginning. At least now we know who they are and in which side they are.
"The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Last edited by Filipe Reis; January 31st, 2014 at 13:09.