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general news - december 2002



's Mário Jardel will be out of action for a week and will miss the SuperLiga game with Vitória de Setúbal. Jardel fell by the poolside at his home in Fortaleza, Brazil, over Christmas and had to be kept in hospital overnight as a precaution, with possible head injuries feared. The player is now in Lisbon and is undergoing a specific training schedule.

The FPF president Gilberto Madaíl has called for a meeting with Sporting president Dias da Cunha to clarify the latter's recent statements to the press which suggest that fraud and money laundering are rife in the Portuguese game.

Sporting's Ricardo Sá Pinto played for an hour in the 'B' team's defeat at Estoril Sunday. Sá Pinto has been out for over a year with a knee injury.

The Liga's Refereeing Commission has announced that as from the new year, referees will be allowed to appear at post-match press conferences to explain their decisions. Only the more experienced refs will be involved at the beginning.

'Madness' was A Bola 's front page banner Monday, referring to the reception Benfica got from the locals in Caldas da Rainha, 100 kms north of Lisbon, during their mini-training camp. Two thousand fans turned up to watch training on the last day. The arrival of Spanish coach José Camacho has prompted a wave of optimism amongst Benfica supporters.


Following the arrest last week of Vitória de Guimarães president Pimenta Machado on embezzlement charges, and the revelation by the authorities that several other clubs were under investigation, Sporting president Dias da Cunha fanned the embers of suspicion surrounding the Portuguese game when he told TSF radio: "There's a lot of money passed under the table in football, there's a lot of creative accounting and there's a lot of dirty money." The president of Lisbon rivals Benfica, Manuel Vilarinho , was quick to divert suspicion away from his club, however: "There is no money passed under the table at Benfica, and there never has been."

Sporting's Brazilian striker Mário Jardel, in the news for all the wrong reasons since the end of last season, was in the news again Friday/ Saturday. The player fell by the poolside at his house in Fortaleza, North East Brazil, and was taken to hospital for treatment on cuts to a knee. He is in Brazil for the Christmas period and was expected back in Lisbon this weekend.

The same player will have lines of merchandise bearing his name on the market in 2003. The products include clothes, toys and school stationery. There will also be cartoon books published in which the hero is one SuperMário, a footballer with super-powers who is dedicated to defending the weak and oppressed. SuperMário will be dressed in a white kit.

The board of Azores club Santa Clara have decided to suspend the payment of November's wages to the players. "We're fulfilling all of our obligations but we feel that the players are not doing all they can to win," a source at the club said. Santa Clara are rock bottom of the SuperLiga.

FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa celebrated his 65th birthday Saturday. He is into his eighth term in the position, spanning over twenty years, during which time the club has won eleven national titles and a European Cup.


Portuguese international forward Pauleta of Bordeaux has once again been voted the best foreigner playing in France, ahead of the likes of Ronaldinho, Edmilson and Sonny Anderson. The Azores player previously won the award, given by magazine France Football , in 2001.


Benfica's outspoken central defender Argel appears have spoken out of turn once again. Last month he was suspended by the club for talking back to the then coach Jesualdo Ferreira, now it's the turn of the club's Director of Football António Simões to get a taste of his tongue. In a service station on the way back to Lisbon from the 0-0 draw with Boavista, the Brazilian is alleged to have told fans that the players' wages are overdue. Called to task by Simões, Argel was apparently less than respectful and may face more disciplinary action when he returns from the Christmas break. ( infordesporto)


Humberto Coelho
, who coached the Portuguese national team to the semis of EURO 2000, is on the short-list for the coaching job with South Korea. Coelho was also coach of Morrocco and was in the running for the same post with Saudi Arabia and China. He is up against the Frenchman Bruno Metsu.

Former Benfica coach Toni, who left the club during last season after a poor start, has been in talks with Chinese club Ginde, from the city of Shenyang in the north. The Chinese pre-season gets under way in early January. It will be the fourth time that Toni has coached abroad, having previously been with Bordeaux, Sevilla and the United Arab Emirates (as asssitant to Carlos Quiróz, now at Manchester United).

Yet another Portuguese coach may be heading east, although not so far; Fernando Santos, previously with AEK and Panathinaikos, has been sounded out by another Greek club Iraklis. Santos, who coached FC Porto in Portugal, would take over from Yugoslavian Ivan Jovanovic, sacked by the club Monday. The Portuguese coach has said that he would only start listening to offers in the New Year.

International referee José Pratas retired after the weekend's game between Varzim and FC Porto (0-2). He has been in refereeing for 25 years.

Cash-strapped Académica received a welcome Christmas present Monday when over fifty well-heeled supporters paid 7,500 euros each for dinner at the Quinta das Lágrimas in Coimbra, the receipts to go towards helping to pay off some of the club's many debts, including taxes. A positive wave is washing round the club, with former national team coach Artur Jorge taking over the coaching reigns.


Sporting's Romanian striker Marius Niculae will be out of action until at least February after breaking a bone in his foot in training.

The injury comes at a time when Sporting's other main striker Mário Jardel is once again in doubt due to personal reasons. His on/off/on relationship, with his wife Karen seems to be definitively off and he has flown to Brazil to sort out divorce proceedings. He is expected back in Lisbon on Thursday, but nobody is holding their breath ...

Benfica's president Luis Filipe Vieira has denied that Newcastle's coach Sir Bobby Robson was first choice to take over from Jesualdo Ferreira after he was removed from the post. Robson said that he had been approached, but Vieira said that the current coach, José Camacho, was always first choice.


The board of Académica have decided to stand down in view of the financial and sporting difficulties that the club are facing. Former president João Moreno has said that he is prepared to step in if required. Académica are rock bottom of the SuperLiga and salaries to players and staff are late.


Carlos Carvalhal, the coach who took minnows Leixões into the UEFA Cup proper this season, has resigned citing interference from above in his team selection. Leixões lie second in the Segunda B North.

Portugal were runners-up in the Fifth Taça Latina in Beach Football held in Vitória, Brazil. they lost 3-5 to the hosts in the final.


Former National Team, FC Porto and Benfica coach Artur Jorge has been mooted as a possible substitute for João Alves, who resigned from the coaching job at struggling Académica this week. Jorge, who once played for Os Estudantes, said that he would not consider the post unless salaries at the club were brought up to date. The situation of late payments was the reason for Alves leaving.

Another club with difficulties in paying salaries is Benfica, whose players are only now receiving October's money. The regulations state that any player whose salary is two months late can rescind his contract with just cause.

According to Players' Union president António Carraça, "more than 80% of the clubs in the First and Second Divisions do not fulfil their contractual obligations of paying their players on time ... some are several months late." ( A Bola On-line)

Money troubles at the club did not, however, prevent president Luís Filipe Vieira from affirming that there could be new signings when the market reopens in January. There is also enough spare, apparently, to give a donation to Tirsense of the Third (fourth) Division, once of the Primeira , in danger of closing down due to severe financial problems.

In a recent poll run by A Bola On-line, 70% of those who voted considered José António Camacho a good choice for coach of Benfica. Another poll on the same site had 60% agreeing with the appointment of Luís Felipe Scolari as National Team coach.


Former Benfica president João Vale e Azevedo, currently serving a four-and-a-half year term in prison for embezzlement, had a book published Wednesday in which he denounces the existence of widespread corruption in Portuguese football, including the bribing of referees who can, he said be bought for between five and 12 thousand euros. (A Bola On-line)


coach João Alves , along with his assistant Pedro Barny, resigned Tuesday, citing overdue wages as the reason. The team of Vítor Alves, Mário Monteiro and António Miranda will take over until a more permanent solution can be found. "I regret that I have to leave but I had to take this drastic decision after all the possibilities to remain at the head of the group were exhausted," Alves said. Wages to coaching staff and players have been slow in coming through in recent months. Académica are bottom of the SuperLiga.

After forward Ricardo Sá Pinto and full back Rui Jorge of Sporting were involved in a punch-up on the training ground Monday, it was the turn of Niculae and Dany on Tuesday. Sporting face Benfica Saturday.


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