So how much do we figure F.C. Porto shelled out to UEFA to overturn its Champions League ban? Well if Porto stood to lose 13 million Euros from its suspension from next year's competition, not to mention the exodus of players that surely would have followed, you can bet it was a handsome sum.
Goal.com and many others reported the news yesterday. Apparently, UEFA was enamored by Porto's appeal, which excluded statements from Benfica and Guimaraes officials, that it turned the matter over to its Control and Disciplinary Body for further review. UEFA told news agency Lusa:
UEFA has now confirmed that FC Porto will indeed play this season's Champions League as it would be impossible to reach a conclusion on this matter before the start of the competition. "The case won't be analysed by the Portugese Federation's Justice Council before the start of the Champions League and won't thus be analysed by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body before the start of the competition."What a joke. Talk about a bag-job! Apparently, the exclusion of Benfica and Guimaraes forced the case to be returned to the control board. That board doesn't meet until Aug. 1--after the Champions League draw. As a result, Porto is allowed back in. Amazing. Here's a thought: MOVE THE MEETING UP!
Here's an organization convicted of bribery charges, whose president is suspended for two years, whose levied an unprecedented punishment, especially considering Porto is a two-time champion of this tournament, and this is the end result. Come right on in boys, no waiting.
Benfica Upfront has an excellent analysis of the situation and spares nothing in hammering the Portuguese federation for its corrupt ways and how it managed to help wrangle Porto out of this mess. From his post today:
It's a f%*&ing disgrace and UEFA are guilty as well, having not given Benfica or Vitória de Guimarães a chance to prove what the FPF refused to. Just as it was looking as if Portuguese football had changed for the better, regrettably, it made a 180-degree turn and now continues on in the same direction.Granted, Benfica has a stake here and will have to play in the UEFA Cup rather than the Champions League had the ban been upheld. But they have a legitimate gripe. Not only are they tossed into the lesser competition, but Porto is not penalized, keeps its players and likely wins the domestic title AGAIN next season with Sporting, Benfica etc. looking up again at the cheating Dragoes, relegated to playing for second place!
Portugal is a Mickey Mouse league run by corrupt little men who put out a shoddy product and live for the bottom line. Scumbags all.