Portuguesa supporters gather to protest against the CBF, STJD and Fluminense
On Saturday afternoon, more than 200 fans of Portuguesa, Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos and São Paulo marched along São Paulo’s Avenida Paulista to protest against what has become known in Brazil as the tapetão.
They are angered by the decision taken by the CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation) and the STJD (High Court of Sporting Justice) to relegate Portuguesa from the Brasileirão for fielding an illegible player in the final game of the season. The decision is thought by many to be motivated by a desire amongst the CBF elite to keep Fluminense, who would have otherwise been relegated, in the top division.
An appeal against the decision has been made and this will be heard on Friday. In the meantime, and such is the level of outcry, that the São Paulo Public Ministry has launched its own investigation.
Peaceful except for a few burnt Fluminense shirts, the protest closed three of the four lanes to traffic. The state deputy joined the protest holding a plaque imploring FIFA to fight corruption in football whilst the singer Roberto Leal and conductor João Carlos Martins also took part.
“All of the São Paulo-based teams like Portuguesa. It’s everybody’s second team,” said the conductor.
Another protest will take place on Saturday if Friday’s judgement confirms Portuguesa’s relegation.