FIFA threatens to ban Portuguese teams over statutes
By Daniel Alvarenga and Shrikesh Laxmidas
LISBON - FIFA has threatened to suspend Portugal's national sides and clubs from international competition should the country's federation fail to approve new statutes that conform with the world soccer body's rules. The Portuguese Football Federation hopes it will pass the statutes in a vote on March 19, after its regional associations rejected them in previous assemblies because they feared losing influence at national level."Should that not be the case, the Associations Committee would refer the case to the FIFA Emergency Committee for possible sanctions, including suspension," FIFA's media office said via email on Friday.
The suspension could put the national side's 2012 European Championship qualifiers at risk and exclude the country's top clubs from UEFA competitions. Porto, Benfica and Braga have qualified for the last-16 round of the Europa League.
"We are worried about the situation in Portugal. The Portuguese federation has to approve the statutes," FIFA president Sepp Blatter told reporters in Zurich on Thursday. The Portuguese government, which insists on the rule changes, has already reprimanded the FPF for not resolving the problem and terminated sponsorship contracts.
The new statutes would transfer significant voting power from regional associations to the country's leagues, players' unions, referees and coaches. "We are making another appeal to our members' sense of responsibility on March 19, so we can avoid grave damage to Portuguese football," the FPF board said in a statement.
(Please fix this as soon as possible, it's not just fair to everyone who works so hard for the NT and for the people in their respective clubs in this league. Do it for the people who still love and have faith.)
Coentrão voted League’s February Player of the Month
Benfica’s left-winger Fábio Coentrão was voted February Player of the Month of the national championship. The “reds’” number 18 will receive the award before the start of the home match against Portimonense scheduled for next March 13. After being elected Footballer of the Year at Benfica’s 107th Anniversary Gala and having recently received the award for Young Player of the Month of September 2010 by the Football Players Syndicate, Fábio Coentrão collects yet another award.
With about 30 percent of votes from fans and coaches, the League chose the “reds’” player as the best the Portuguese championship during the month of February. The left winger gathered almost twice the preferences than the second-placed, the Brazilian Hulk. The last place on the podium was secured by also another Benfica player, the Argentine Eduardo Salvio. These awards confirm the improvement in Jorge Jesus’ team, with special focus on Fábio Coentrão, a decisive element in the “reds’” strategy who has presented the supporters with real top class performances.
Text: Andreia Candeias
(Hmm.. I like Fabs, even if I don't I would still congratulate him for this award which Hulk has won since the start of this season, it is only temporary Hulk will win it back or someone else from Porto, someone random like Fucile :P. I'm serious, well deserved award for him he has been the best player in the month of February.. keep on getting better and make all Portuguese and even the non Portuguese fans proud)
Some bonus photos because I am nice:
Jorge Jesus: "We won’t give up"
In the aftermath of the “reds’” defeat in Braga, Sport Lisboa e Benfica’s coach started by commenting on Javi García’s sending-off. “It was not because we were down to ten players that Braga showed superiority. It’s true that Javi’s sending-off was crucial, since that moment originates both Javi’s exclusion and Braga’s equalizer, but I must say that Braga’s bench was responsible for Javi’s sending-off, just like it happened last year with Di Maria”, he warned, analyzing the “arsenalists” attitude facing his team.
“Braga’s players showed such determination that, had they shown it in other matches, they wouldn’t be in the position they are today. Nevertheless, Benfica’s players were dignified. Even down to ten, the team knew how to play and be on the pitch”, he observed.
Jorge Jesus also explained why, with one less player and the game tied, he decided to change a midfielder for a striker. “We knew the draw wasn’t enough for us and so had to risk everything, put more pressure on Braga’s defence, blocking up Hugo Viana’s actions in midfield. We did it and you couldn’t tell we were outnumbered”, he assumed.
In conclusion, Benfica’s coach talked about the point differential with FC Porto. "It doesn’t change our plans but it’s more difficult now. We knew we couldn’t lose points in order to continue to put pressure on our opponent, but we won’t give up. Besides, we remain committed in the other competitions we are in (Portuguese Cup, League Cup and Europa League)”, he added.
Hehe now before you get mad at me for that choice, I just want to say.. I don't think it's safe to say Porto has won the league already. It's not that I don't have faith that they won't lose points, I just want to be very sure before I can finally say that. Like I said it's not over until it's over. If Porto loses 3 or 4 games, you can still get back on it. I hope not of course:P.
Braga played their best game of the season and it was just perfect that it was vs Benfica (hehe). The first half was even for both teams, but Braga was clearly the better side in the second half, forced Benfica into long range shots. (Oh yeah the diving was pretty bad, well you have players like this anywhere and in the league..Coentrão Hulk and Postiga are just examples)
Lima was quite close to scoring twice in this half but so was Jara, both backline were quite busy. Lima and Coentrão:
Benfica drew first blood, goal by Saviola! Artur did well to stop Carlos Martins' (I really thought it was Cardozo who took it tbh) powerful free kick but it was right in Saviola's path. Video of his goal: http://futebol.videos.sapo.pt/iRV2kqVDFeyqNrkUtpNu
Everything was going smooth until..
;__; What do you think? If Javi Garcia hit him in the chest with full force why did he grab his neck instead?
Red card for Javi Garcia. Quite harsh because IMO Alan was playacting there
And a free kick from this incident. Hugo Viana took it and see for yourself (having problems with embedding right now): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plcUjJxYLIo
Very nice right? It also seems Roberto's weakness has always been corners or free kicks, that said, that free kick is just wow. Looked to me like he meant for it to be a cross but it found the net instead XD.
He was really brilliant throughout, especially in the first 30 minutes, controlled the midfield well.
Hugo still celebrating, I see you Ukra
More action... jump ball! Woops wrong sport :P
Mossoro and Gaitan:
Frustration sets in, now is not the type to change your diaper, Fabs:
While Oscar is thinking of......
of turning into
Haha not hating, I just teased a Cardozo/Paraguay fan here -> wall_upper ...one time about how slow Oscar was in one of the games near the start of this season and it has been part of trolling ever since then
A curling shot from Mossoro puts the final nail on the coffin in this match. Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIZpZM3n7ac
About to go in.....
and BAM! Roberto can't do much about that one
"This has got a special taste for everything I've gone through against Benfica. In one game I was suspended, then I got a serious injury. They were very difficult moments. That celebration was me letting all my feelings against Benfica out."
Mossoro - after the match
3 points dropped.. sad Benfica players.
Why couldn't you get this kind of result all season long, Braga?
Yes, there were stuff thrown at the players, including golf balls but do not wash your hands and say your club doesn't have fans like that. I'm not defending what the Braga fans of course but all clubs have bad sets of fans.
Besides, Benfica are still in the Europa League (Braga too), Taça da Liga and Taça de Portugal so all is not lost, like I said.. it's still possible for you to win the league as well EDIT: Okay maybe not the league but you know what I mean and I had my heart broken a couple of times already thinking my teams before in basketball made it already but at the last minute..shit happened, I'm rambling so good luck anyway. I really hope all 3 Portuguese clubs will do well in the Europa League and that the Fifa issue will be resolved.. all we need is love and hugs. So...
JJ loves some Javi Garcia
Gone in the club but not forgotten
This has got to be my fave Falcao and Hulk photo
You traitor, one minute you're hugging Hulk, now you turn to Cebolla ;__;
Aww Liedson was still a Sporting player
Thanks again Braga hehehe
Don't judge them.. their friendship surpasses any hardship together.
(Before you ask me why there's no Porto love... read again, from start to finish, I've been showing my love for Porto )