Tuesday, 26 February 2013 20:19

Vitória handed historic punishment

Vimarenenses facing two games behind closed doors

History was made in the world of Portuguese football today, though unfortunately not of the positive kind. Following the events of Sunday's B team Minho derby, Vitória de Guimarães have been punished by the Federação Portuguesa de Futebol with a two-match ban on supporters at the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques. 

The rivalry between Vitória de Guimarães and Sporting Clube de Braga has always been a visceral one, but recent years have seen it ratchet up still further. On Sunday matters came to a head, with referee Hugo Pacheco abandoning the meeting between Guimarães B and Braga B after eight minutes of play, deciding events in the stands presented too great a security risk for the match to continue. 

Both clubs have accepted fines (€10,200 for Vitória and €3750 plus damage compensation for Braga) and condemned the incidents, as has Liga President Mário Figueiredo. Today the Federaction acted, with the Disciplinary Council ruling that the upcoming fixtures against Académica (scheduled for March 4th) and Benfica B (March 10th) will be played behind closed doors. Guimarães have already confirmed that they will appeal the decision, stating that they do not wish " be used as a scapegoat for the indecision of all the relevant authorities, whether sporting or political." 

This refers to the on-going row over what level of security is appropriate at sporting events in Portugal. Under Portuguese law, police presence at football matches is not compulsory, and some clubs have opted to rely on private security personnel (such as Gil Vicente against Sporting recently). Sunday's events, as well as those seen in the recent match between Braga and Paços de Ferreira; where a small number of home supporters managed to gain entry to the away section, forcing stewards to funnel Paços fans out of the stand and behind a goal, may well lead to a collective re-think on the part Portugal's political and sporting policymakers. 

Ben Shave 

Comments (8)
8 Friday, 01 March 2013 20:49
I'm sorry, but I had to mention the following.
A Bola had an interview with a Brazilian midfielder named Alberoni. As a youngster, 17 or so, he went to Inter Milan where things didn't go well. By his own admission he made the mistake of going back to Brazil, where he feels his development deteriorated. He did another chance and joined Barca, but went nowhere. He eventually found his way to Portugal, destination UD Leiria, and had this to say.

"Quando recebi o primeiro salário, vi que só 40 por cento tinha sido depositado. Os outros 60, que eram do contrato de imagem, não caíram. E, lá, o presidente tinha um poder muito grande, era o que ele falava e acabou. Disse-me que não iria negociar-me, mesmo que eu não quisesse jogar. Em 2006, surgiu o interesse do Vasco para atuar entre os profissionais e tive de chorar na frente do cara, até que ele me deixasse voltar para o Brasil», revelou."

He basically goes on to say that when he received his first check from the club, only 40% of his salary found its way into the bank. The remaining 60% never arrived. He goes on to say that the club president, who had immense power, told him that he was never going to get his signed contract and that he wouldn't negotiate with him, even if he didn't play. He had to cry and beg in front of him, before he let me go back to Brazil.

I went and looked up the UD Leiria president at the time and his name is Joao Bartolomeu. He was president from '88 to '12. This is the same guy that rode UD Leiria into the ground. While the club barely survived, I'm sure his checks were always on time and never lacking funds. His coffers just kept getting fuller.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but why hasn't Joao Bartolomeu not been prosecuted by somebody. He committed the highest form of fraud. He's a criminal.
It's actions like this, that makes our league second rate. No matter how far we stick our heads into the ground.

I'm happy that Alberoni has moved on with his life and is now a Pharmacist.
It's a joke
7 Thursday, 28 February 2013 13:27
When it comes to safety or even love and care of the fans, our league is awful.
Teams do nothing to secure stadiums and let Ultras keep people away. Yet that's who they cater to, because they're shortsighted.
Now you here of the league and clubs asking the government to step in and provide police for matches. Really? That's what the government needs, more costs. If I was them I would say, sure and bill the teams/league. Why should tax payers have to pay?
Teams should be forced to have security and if they don't, they should be fined and have to play dark matches until proving that they are compliant.
The security industry does not have the best of reputations. But the companies that do it right, clients know and pay.
Yes companies are cheap, but they know who they need to pay, because the alternative is even costlier.
Please Clarify for the Ignorant (me)
6 Wednesday, 27 February 2013 21:12
Can somebody help me understand what Vitoria's excuse is here??

They (Vitoria) are blaming the small amount of police allocated (if any) to the games? Essentially they claim its not their fault the fans went on a rampage but the fault of the lack of police presence?

**Below you will find the statement released by Vitória de Guimarães website, I translated it to English:

We do not agree with the decision made public by the Professional Section of the Disciplinary Board of the FPF;

2nd. Reinforce the message already conveyed by the President, condemning unequivocally the unfortunate events of last Sunday;

3rd. Reiterating that healthy passion of the Victorians to their club can not, and should not be confused with everything that happened;

4th. Wait for the authorities to identify and punish, using the images available, all those who staged acts of violence witnessed;

5th. Do not allow our club to be used as scapegoat of the indecision of all relevant authorities, whether sports, whether policies.

In this sense, the Directorate of Sport Clube Vitória vai hierarchical appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Board for the Full Section Professional Discipline. This feature is made under Articles 262 and 290 of the Disciplinary Regulations of the League and its effect under the terms of subparagraph b) of paragraph 2 of Article 295 of the Rules of Discipline of the League, which refers to Article 36 of the Rules of the Board Justice of the Portuguese Football Federation, has suspensive effect immediately.

In this period, we expect that the proof Vitória Sport Clube will arrive sporting disciplinary bodies to allow, in a calm, responsible and fair, punish those truly responsible for the acts they all regret and that therefore these bodies review their decision.
Great Point
5 Wednesday, 27 February 2013 17:02
Chris, I've screaming about those points for a long time now. Clubs in Portugal do nothing, NOTHING, to bring fans to a match. They have no marketing plans in place.

We all know that there are a million newspapers that discuss futebol and the clubs add nausea. But the clubs themselves do nothing. If you didn't pick up a paper or specifically looked for a clubs schedule, you would have no idea a game was going on in that particular city.
I've always mentioned Setubal in regards to this. They are a club across the bridge, in a nice size city, and with populated surrounding areas. But they do nothing to build on the fan base. No reaching out whatsoever. It's pathetic.
I remember when the mayor of Leiria, booted the club from the city/stadium and said they brought nothing of value to Leiria. I agreed. Leiria did nothing to integrate themselves in the city.
Just bad presidents pocketing cash while screaming about financial difficulties.

I saw an article in which Sporting president candidate, Severino, said the he would bring money, like Godinho said they needed to, but he was also bringing the police/authorities. He wants to know where all the revenue went.
I couldn't agree more. Sporting cashes in plenty via tv and sponsorships. They are worlds above mid table clubs and even Braga. Yet they are struggling. Someone needs to check into the Presidents; Godinho, Bettencourt, etc... finances.
Same could be said for Guimaraes and many more.

I for one always try to go to a match while in Portugal. A Benfica match is a must, but I also went to see Belenenses due to location. I will now also try to go and see Atletico at the Tapadinha.
But I will never go to a Derby match or to an away match. Why would I endanger myself and or family? Yes' I'm missing out on something special, but I do not want to put myself at risk. Maca Podres set the stadium on fire. Their very own seats. What??? How do you even explain that type of action?

I took my wife to a Benfica game on a monday night. She absolutely loved it. But she's still hesitant in attending any match.
4 Wednesday, 27 February 2013 14:20
Hey all,

Interesting article on the revenue and regulatory process in Germany. I rather like it, and think our liga could learn something from this.

One of the major strategies is keeping ticket prices low and offering family packages, which I think is brilliant. If our Liga was willing to use one half or a full season in an attempt to stamp out the claques, and started offering cheaper group rates or family deals, I think this would only help with the issue of attendance.

If you read the article you will see that German clubs actually generate more revenue than most of the big boys (Man U, Chelsea, Arsenal) and they do it largely by drawing consistent attendance and television money.

I've been to the D. Afonso Henriques stadium, and while not as special as Bessa, Dragao or Luz, it is a great facility. It could easily be full every game in a town like Guimaraes with better pricing and of course, an upswing in the economy.

3 Wednesday, 27 February 2013 13:52
If crap like this went on in American sport they would literally make every spectator sit next to a police officer. It's madness. How the hell are you ever going to maximize profits if families are too scared to even go to games?
Bury them
2 Wednesday, 27 February 2013 13:36
I agree Mdot. FA's, UEFA & FIFA need to follow up and double up on their fines. They need to take track record into account.

Lazio has had multiple charges yet get fined little or miss out on revenue from one dark match.
Inter Milan fined 50k is a joke.
Serbia gets nothing after repeated offenses.
Let me add, Benfiquistas and other SuperLiga fans throwing GOLF BALLS at players.

How about one dark match, second offense results on three dark matches, third results in five dark matches, thereafter loss of European play and drop of points.
If people are worried about an opposing fan throwing something, make both squads have their next two matches verse each other be dark. I don't care if it overlaps seasons.

This isn't about a specific clubs fans problem. This is a league fans problem. Unless clubs are forced to drill into their fans heads that they are damaging their beloved club, nothing will change.
joke of a punishment
1 Tuesday, 26 February 2013 22:42
First of all a game is stopped due to fan stupidity and a serious punishment is the cost of a used 5yr old honda civic. What a joke our liga is. Even if you make a walled gate for fans they will still do something stupid ala Sporting fans burning seats. The punishments are nothing, so clubs put no pressure on their fans. All teams have dumb fans that over do it. Its the lack of punishment that is encouraging more idiots to join in the action.

However i do think the empty stadium thing will hurt financially as Benfica coming to town means they lose a full stadium's revenue. Especially since some teams bank on these key matches each season to pad their bottom line.