Thursday, January 21, 2010
We Could Be Heroes - update #5
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.
Here are the links.
I doubt most of you understand the Portuguese, even with subs, but still. Here it is.