Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Port and sleaze?

This was posted in the comment’s section a wee while ago but I didn’t publish it at that time because it wasn’t really relevant to the post in question.

Quite topical tonight though, as Porto entertain Arsenal in the Champion’s League.

It might all be rubbish, I don’t know (so all this is only alleged) but as it was sent to me I feel it is only right to share. It all makes our little conspiracies about the odd myopic ref seem a bit tame.

There is a lot of information about all of this available on the internet but not a lot covered in the mainstream media:
For most Portuguese football fans, the brand "FC Porto" is a synonym of corruption. The leader of the club for over 25 years, Mr. Pinto da Costa, is well known for not only being the most successful executive in the football world, but also because of the corruption scandals, which seem to be constantly associated with him.

Not long ago, Platini threatened to ban FC Porto from the Champions League because of the same scandal, which brought many referees and executives to the court. Nonetheless, FCP did not get the ban and Platini became a laughing stock in Portugal.

Not even the Portuguese courts were able to punish FC Porto's chairman, since the phone records that proved his involvement in the major corruptions scandal were not accepted as proof by the court.

Today the same phone taps, which were overruled by the court house, were posted on YouTube. The content is just a confirmation of what was already known by the general public.

The tapes include mostly talks between the Portuguese executive and major characters of the Portuguese refereeing scene. According to the conversations Pinto da Costa literally handpicked the officials responsible for FC Porto's fixtures.

Bribes are also a topic. Money is not specifically mentioned, but nonetheless prostitution is broadly discussed under the term "fruit" (prostitutes) and the term "milk and coffee" (which refers to Latin-Brazilian prostitutes), which were offered to referees.

There is also another tape in which the Portuguese executive talks to the then-President of the Portuguese League, in order to ask him for a favor in a disciplinary case against Liedson for elbowing a FC Porto player.

One of the most scandalous tapes for international fans is the one which involves Deco, the famous midfield ace.

The Portuguese midfielder had thrown his boot at a referee after being sent off. Angry about this decision, Pinto da Costa asked a famous journal editor to publish an interview with Deco, in which the player would state that he would reconsider his place in the national team if he was to be punished for his actions against the referee.

The forged interview was carefully prepared, as was the hearing at the League's Disciplinary Committee. Deco carefully followed the instructions of FC Porto's chairman and was not punished by the league - a true scandal.

Now, Portugal eagerly awaits the outcome of this situation. Pinto da Costa has already filed a law suit concerning the leaked tapes. The Portuguese General Attorney is following the situation closely, trying to find those responsible for the publishing of those tapes, since they were held under a confidential status.

However, the question remains: How could Pinto da Costa not have been punished by the legal authorities?

Many suspect that Pinto da Costa also has some influence within the justice system, which is not too far-fetched. He has enjoyed some very intimate relationships with many famous politicians who still have a large influence in the legal system.

A "Godfather" plot in Portuguese.

I doubt most of you understand the Portuguese, even with subs, but still. Here it is.
The comment was made anonymously but it is lifted from a Bleacher Report story from January and written by Jose V Rodrigues. See the original here.


  1. I stumbled on this article completely by chance (For no good or logical reason I have a sympathy for the Dons and i was looking SPL info). However because i'm portuguese I decided to post a comment.

    First of all, all that was said about FC Porto is essentially... True.
    They have been getting away with murder the last twenty or so years (yes, 20) in the Potuguese premiership. To us this is nothing new. Everything you read in the article is pretty much accurate info.
    There are many other claims of corruption against FCP that you could have highlighted. The ones in the article are just the tip of the iceberg.
    There are many things wrong with portuguese football, Porto's mafia style domination is just one of them.
    The kind things that make an average portuguese fan look for Aberdeen's league standing...

  2. All sounds very depressing - thanks for confirming that the original commenters wasn't too far off track.

    A Portuguese Aberdeen fan? Welcome to the blog. One of the best places to find out about life as a Don is where Seb keeps us up-to-date with the frustrations of Pittodrie.

    Cheers for reading and look forward to hearing more from you!