Scores

05 May, 2011

Golden Whistle Part Deux FC Porto is Back


Long long ago... in a galaxy far far away...

There was a soccer club... let's call them FC Porto. FC Porto was one of several teams accused of a bribery scandal in which club officials bribed various officials and referees to gain favorable outcomes. Along comes FC Porto President Pinto de Costa. He is accused of bribing a few officials in 2004 to guarantee that Porto will win and thus move on to Champions League action the following season.

Unfortunately for Pinto de Costa, he is caught and the case goes to court. But that's when something funny happens. See his voice recordings, while clearly damning, are inadmissible in Portuguese courts unless they are related to a case such as murder. Since this was only abuse of power and corruption, the recordings are tossed and he ends up being found not guilty.

Two years later, the case is reopened when Pinto de Costa's former lover releases a book with more accusations and evidence, but the court finds Pinto de Costa guilty of abuse of power, and nothing else.

Now, interestingly, Porto was only docked 6 pts in their league standing for bribery, while the other team involved, Bao Vista was relegated to the 2nd division at the end of the season. The 6 pt deduction was nothing to Porto as at that point, they held a 14pt lead on the competition. However, FIFA decided that any such case brought against them might look bad so they banned Porto from CL play. Unfortunately, FIFA got in it's own way and their Appeals Board overturned it's ruling so Porto went on to play in Cup action. This is frequently referred to as the Golden Whistle Scandal.

Pinto de Costa was slapped on the wrist and given a 2yr ban in the verdict.

Fast forward to last week. Porto plays Villareal in Europa League action and soundly drubs the Spanish club 5-1 with Bjorn Kuipers refereeing the match. But...

The night before the match, a dinner was held, sponsored by Porto, with some Porto officials in attendance such as Rienaldo Teles and Antonio Garrido. What is interesting is that these two worked for FC Porto during the Golden Whistle Scandal and were also implicated in that affair but escaped severe punishment. Also in attendance was one Bjorn Kuipers.

The 5-1 drubbing that followed is now being protested by Villareal based on this evidence. As anyone who knows Portuguese football will tell you, FC Porto has a long history of corruption but so does FIFA, so a not guilty verdict being handed down by the same FIFA board that handed down the point deduction in 2004 as well as denied the Barcelona v Real Madrid protests last week would not surprise.

Best of luck in your 2nd leg there Villa.

Picture: mj.com.ua

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