general news - 2006



Thursday was 'Fool's Day' in Spain, and Portugal national team coach Luíz Felipe Scolari was caught up in the 'fun'. The sports daily Marca, claiming that a mistake had been made and that Zidane was World Player of the Year and not Cannavaro, published an 'interview' with the Brazilian in which he was alleged to have said: "It's time that FIFA realised the mistake it made. I voted for Zidane, Cannavaro and Kaká, not Henry, Cannavaro and Kaká. Now justice has been done. But FIFA can't make mistakes like this." Scolari's representatives have slammed the report as being in very bad taste.

The Spanish press have also been reporting the story of the Atlético Madrid midfielder, the Portuguese international Maniche, caught driving over the limit in Lisbon at the weekend.

Manuel Cajuda was officially presented as Vitória de Guimarães coach Wednesday, replacing Luís Norton de Matos. Cajuda was recently sacked by Egyptian club Zamalek.

Mariano Barreto, former coach of Moscow Dynamo, has begun work at his new club, Naval, where he takes over from Rogério Gonçalves, who moved to Sporting Braga, and caretaker Fernando Mira.

The president of Académica, José Eduardo Simões, has been formally charged on eight counts of passive corruption (to do with property development), which could lead to a prison sentence of up to eight years. 103,600 euros were found in a car belonging to the president of the Coimbra club.


Vitória de Setúbal will have to pay 450,000 euros to former player Velli Kassumov, the first player from Azerbaijan to play in the Portuguese league. Kassumov played for Vitória between 1997 and 1999, but terminated his contract with just cause because of overdue wage payment. Along with his employment contract, he also signed an image rights contract with the club to the value of 200,000, which the club did not comply with. After various appeals by the club, the Supreme Court has now handed down the definitive judgement, which does not allow for any further appeal. The cash-strapped club will struggle to come up with such a large sum of money, which will almost definitely mean the seizure of assets in lieu of payment: players' passes, the team bus and trophies could all be seized. Black days for the club of José Mourinho's home town, which is also struggling against relegation and sacked its coach last week.

José Cachide, vice-president of the Liga's bottom club Beira-Mar, has complained about the club using the 30,000-capacity Aveiro Municipal Stadium, custom-built for the Euro 2004 championship but much too large for a small town club like Beira-Mar. "I'd prefer to have a Fiat 600 that goes to a Ferrari that's run out of petrol," says Cachide, recommending that the club return to its old stadium, the Estádio Mário Duarte. Cachide believes that the players would receive more human warmth there because the stands are closer to the fans (the Municipal has a running track). More serious still are the financial losses incurred by using the Euro 2004 stadium: each game costs the club around 10,000 euros to put on, which means that all games make a loss except those against the Big Three (FC Porto, Sporting and Benfica, who take a lot of fans to away games). Cachide explains: "For the last but one home game, against Belenenses, gate receipts were 3,800 euros, with costs of 9,000 … Besides that, the new stadium costs 225,000 euros a year in maintenance … I'd prefer to have a Fiat 600 that goes to a Ferrari that's run out of petrol." Cachide says that he has offered to pay out of his own pocket for any necessary renovations to the Mário Duarte, if the team returns there.

Vitória de Guimarães of the Liga de Honra have sacked coach Luís Norton de Matos after a 0-1 defeat at home to Gondomar on Sunday. Vitória are 7th, four points behind second club Leixões (two teams go up). Vitória, who may claim to be the fourth Grande in Portugal in terms of following, were relegated from the Liga last season.


Portuguese coach Manuel Cajuda has been sacked from top Egyptian club Zamalek after nine months. He took the club to the African Champions League and the Egyptian Cup Final, where Zamalek lost to Al Ahly, coached by another Portuguese, Manuel José.


António Conceição ('Toni') has been sacked by poisoned chalice Vitória de Setúbal. He replaced Hélio after just two games at the beginning of the season. Carlos Cardoso , already at the club, will be the replacement. Vitória are 14th in the Liga.

Mariano Barreto has been named as the new coach at Naval, replacing Fernando Mira, caretaker after Rogério Gonçalves left for Sporting Braga. Barreto was previously with Moscow Dynamo.

FC Porto's Ricardo Quaresma has been named the Players' Union Player of the Month for November.

FC Porto have issued debentures to the value of 31 million euros to cover a deficit of 30 million. The issue was over-subscribed by 100%.

The former partner of FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, Carolina Salgado, has just had a book published ('I, Carolina') in which she alleges that Pinto da Costa was involved in a series of corrupt practices, including those covered by the so-called 'Golden Whistle' process involving the bribery of match officials. Pinto da Costa has said that he will only respond to the allegations in court. 'Golden Whistle' began its phase of 'instrução' Tuesday, in which the court will decide whether there is enough evidence for the case to go to trial.

Académica president José Eduardo Simões has been officially accused of corruption involving real estate interests when he was in the Coimbra City Council. Following full support from the club's board, Simões will be staying on as president.

Current president of the Portuguese Football Federation, Gilberto Madaíl, will be the only candidate at the next elections for the top posts, to be held on 6 January.

Five fans of Lixa, of the second division, have been banned from entering any stadium for a year (4) and a year and a half (1), following incidents in a second division game in the 2004/05 season between Lixa and Vizela. The referee awarded a penalty to Vizela (who went on to win 1-0) and there was a pitch invasion. The banning orders are the first in Portugal under a law passed in 2004.


The Liga de Clubes approved this week the launch of a new competition in Portugal: the Taça da Liga. ('League Cup'), between teams of the Liga and the Liga de Honra (second division), which will have its first edition in the 2007-08 season.

FC Porto reported losses of 30.4 million euros in the tax year to June, compared to losses of 1.1 million the previous year.

A member of the Benfica claque (organised group of fans) No Name Boys was arrested Friday after raids on his house and the claque's office at the Estádio da Luz. The operation, nicknamed 'Weed', uncovered drugs and illegal weapons



Benfica made a loss of 1.2 million euros in 2005-2006, a 79% reduction in losses compared to the previous year.

Sporting Clube de Portugal launched its own brand of perfume Saturday. There is a version for men (wood and spices) and women (flowers and fruit).


Carlos Carvalhal, who left Sporting Braga this week, was officially presented on Friday as Beira-Mar's new coach, taking over from Augusto Inácio.

Rogério Gonçalves will be Sporting Braga's coach for the next 18 months (theoretically ….) after leaving Naval.

The Portuguese coach Manuel José has won the African Champions League with Egyptian side Al-Ahly, beating Tunisian club CS Sfazien 1-0, with a goal from Abou Tarika, in the second leg of the Final. The first leg in Egypt had been a 1-1 draw.

Portugal, 4-2 up at one point, lost 4-7 to Brazil in the semi-final of the Beach Football World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil face Uruguay in the Final.

FC Porto's Argentinian midfielder Lucho González has extended his contract with the club for one year until 2011.

Benfica are to enter the Guinness Book of Records as having the highest number of fee-paying associate members (sócios) in the world: 160,000.

The number of sócios that other Portuguese clubs have are:

1 Benfica, 160,992 members
2 F.C.Porto, 102,000
3 Sporting, 90,000
4 Vitória de Guimarães, 24,000 (Liga de Honra)
5 Académica de Coimbra, 21,000
6 Sp.Braga, 20,000
7 Belenenses. 18,200
8 Boavista, 17,500
9 Vitória de Setúbal, 16,400
10 Marítimo, 10,000
11 Beira Mar, 9,000
12 Leixões, 6,935 (
Liga de Honra)
13 Estrela da Amadora, 6,800
14 Nacional da Madeira, 3,500
15 Paços de Ferreira, 3,000
16 União de Leiria, 2,500
17 Naval, 2,200
18 Desportivo das Aves, 2,000

(source: maisfutebol)


After just six months in charge, coach Carlos Carvalhal left Sporting Braga Wednesday citing personal reasons. Braga are in the top half of the Liga and are through to the group stage of the UEFA Cup, but they lost 0-3 at Sporting Monday, and there have been rumours of discipline problems in the changing room. But it has also been reported that Carvalhal and his family have been intimidated by supporters of the club. Carvalhal, 40, is to be presented as coach of Beira-Mar on Friday, replacing Augusto Inácio, who has moved to Greece. Carvalhal played for Beira-Mar in the 90s.

Fomer FC Porto central defender Jorge Costa, who finished his career at Belgian club Standard Liège, has joined Sporting Braga in a coaching capacity.

FC Porto have extended coach Jesualdo Ferreira's contract for a year until the end of June 2008.


Beira-Mar coach Augusto Inácio has left the club to join Ionikos, struggling near the bottom of the Greek first division. His contract is for a year and a half. Beira-Mar are also struggling near the bottom of the Liga, and lost 0-3 at Benfica on Sunday. The club from Aveiro has yet to name a replacement, but it is reported that names like António Sousa, José Peseiro and Vítor Pontes may be on the list.

Inácio is the fifth change of coach at clubs this season:

Pre-season: Co Adriaanse > Jesualdo Ferreira (F.C. Porto)
Pre-season: Jesualdo Ferreira > Zeljko Petrovic (Boavista)
2nd jornada: Hélio Sousa > António Conceição (Vitória se Setúbal)
jornada: Zeljko Petrovic > Jaime Pacheco (Boavista)
jornada: Augusto Inácio > (?) (Beira Mar)

National team coach Luíz Felipe Scolari has announced his choices for FIFA Player of the Year: Thierre Henry (Arsenal), Kaká (AC Milan) and John Terry (Chelsea).

Central defender Jorge Andrade is set to play his first official game Wednesday after eight months out through injury. The Deportivo de la Coruña player missed the World Cup after injuring his knee and has now been called up for his club's cup game against Racing de Santander.



FC Porto's brilliant young Brazilian midfielder Anderson fractured his right leg in Saturday's game against Benfica and is likely to be out until the new year. Anderson, 18, was carried off after a crunching tackle by Greek midfielder Katsouranis on 25 minutes.


Around 7,500 club members voted Luís Filipe Vieira back in as Benfica president Friday. Vieira was the only candidate on the ballot sheet.


Beira-Mar made a loss last season of 2 million euros; the figures will be presented at the club's AGM next week. The loss was mainly due to the club's relegation to the Liga de Honra (2nd tier), with the resulting drop in gate and television receipts. Beira-Mar, with Mário Jardel now in their ranks, returned to the Liga this season but are struggling to find their form.


Jaime Pacheco returns to the Bessa to take over as Boavista coach from Zeljko Petrovic, sacked by the club at the weekend. Pacheco joins on a one-year contract.


Boavista and their Montenegran coach Zeljko Petrovic have parted company after just seven games (two wins, a draw and four defeats, the last two at home and the last one a heavy 0-4 reverse against Nacional Saturday. Mooted to replace Petrovic are Jaime Pacheco (who would return to Boavista for his third spell at the club), and António Sousa, formerly of Beira-Mar and father of the club's talented but wayward midfielder Ricardo Sousa. The new caoch is likely to be announced on Tuesday. This is the second so-called chicotada psicológica ('psychological whipping') of the season, Hélio being shown the door at Vitória de Setúbal after just two jornadas.


Gil Vicente, relegated from the Liga to the Liga de Honra as a result of the so-called 'Mateus Affair', have now received more punishment from the Portuguese Football Federation: the club is banned for one season from competing in the Taça de Portugal, and two of their junior sides are banned from taking part in their respective championships.


Jorge Costa, ex-captain of FC Porto, announced Monday that he is hanging up his boots, at the age of 35. Central defender Costa spent most of his career at the northern club, except for spells at English club Charlton and the Belgian Standard Liége, his last club. At the moment of saying goodbye, he said that he was bitter that he wasn't allowed to finish his career at Porto - former coach Co Adriaanse considered him dispensable. He is to take time off to be with his family and take his coaching badges, possibly to return to football later as a coach. He has also voiced an ambition to one day be president of FC Porto.

Former FC Porto, Benfica and National Team coach Artur Jorge has joined French club Creteil-Lusitanos on a three-year contract. Creteil are currently bottom of the French second division.

Former Benfica and Brazilian international central defender Carlos Mozer is set to sign as coach for Angolan club Inter Luanda on a two-year contract. Mozer's other coaching experience was under José Mourinho at Benfica.


FC Porto finished the 2005-06 season with a loss of 30.4 million euros. Porto won the Portuguese title and the Taça de Portugal, but they were knocked out of the lucrative Champions League at the group stage.

Gil Vicente have opened up disciplinary proceedings against their Angolan player Mateus, who did not return to training Tuesday after international duty in Angola at the weekend. Mateus' registration as a Gil player last season was at the root of a prolonged legal battle and the club's relegation to the Liga de Honra, with Belenenses escaping the drop.


Benfica's Rui Costa will be out for up to a month after he aggravated a thigh injury in his return against Desportivo das Aves (4-1) at the weekend.

The player at the root of the recent controversy of relegation from the Liga (see general news of other months), Gil Vicente's Mateus, is in Angola to represent his country in CAN 2008 qualifiers. It is believed that the player is unlikely to return to the norhtern club, claiming that he is psycholigically unfit.



Gil Vicente have decided to finally play in the Liga de Honra, after a lengthy ping-pong match in the courts. They will play Rio Ave on Sunday, but will have to make up the four games they have already missed. Fourteen of the club's players threatened to rescind their contracts last week on the grounds of non-payment of salaries, but have since stepped back after the board promised to regularise payments.

Hermínio Loureiro will be able to take up functions as president of the Liga de Clubes after the Civil Court of Porto rejected the injunction against his election filed by Nacional president Rui Alves.


Gil Vicente will not show once again for Sunday's Liga de Honra game with Trofense. Gil are still protesting their relegation in the place of Belenenses.

Benfica officially inaugurated Friday their new training ground in Seixal, on the other side of the River Tagus from Lisbon.

FC Porto 'keeper Hélton has been called up by Dunga for Brazil's upcoming internationals against Kuwait and Equador.


Vitória de Setúbal have made the first chicotada psicológica ('psychological whipping') of the season, sacking coach Hélio Sousa after just ten months in charge. Hélio, at Vitória as a player for over 30 years, left the stadium in tears after receiving the news. The catalyst for the dismissal was Vitória's 0-3 home defeat to Heerenveen in the first leg of the First Round of the UEFA Cup Thursday. Vitória's new coach is António Conceição ('Toni'), who was at Estrela da Amadora last season.

FIFA president Joseph Blatter said Friday that resolution of the so-called 'Mateus Affair', which resulted in the relegation of Gil Vicente from the Liga, was in the hands of the FPF (Portuguese Football Federation), and that the case should not go to international ruling. "We ask Gil Vicente to follow Juventus' example and accept the FPF's decision," he said.

Meanwhile, the Gil Vicente president, António Fiuza, has said that the team will not turn up for the Liga de Honra (second tier) game at Estoril Sunday. The club is waiting for a decision from the Lisbon Administrative Court on whether it will annul the FPF's decision to relegate Gil on the basis that it would be "in the public interest". Fiuza said that the club's budget for the season is 3.5 million euros, but that expected receipts from a second tier campaign would be only 1.5 million. Before the club accepts relegation, it wants to be assured that the shortfall would be made up. Gil did not turn up for last weekend's scheduled game at home to Feirense.

Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Laurentino Dias, said Friday that the Government will play its part in eradicating corruption in sport. A new Base Law for Sport is in the process of being drafted. The comment comes in the wake of a series of revelations arising from phone taps in the so-called 'Apito Dourado' ('Golden Whistle') operation, investigating cases of alleged 'buying' of referees.

National daily Público has revealed that only seven of all Liga referees are not under suspicion in the Apito Dorado investigation.

Sporting president Filipe Soares Franco has promised that none of the young stars of the excellent Sporting side that has started the season so well will be sold off in the transfer window in January. Players like João Moutinho, Nani, Miguel Veloso and Djaló will thus be at the club at least until the end of the season.

The FPF has decided to award an annual payment of 10,000 euros to former international José Torres, 68, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Torres was part of the Portugal team, along with Eusébio, that came third in the 1966 World Cup.

There are 83 Portuguese nationals playing in foreign leagues, according to website maisfutebol.

The complete list:

SPAIN (9 players)
Staying: Deco (Barcelona), Jorge Andrade (Déportivo de la Coruña), Hugo Viana and Miguel (Valência), Nunes (Mallorca), Duda (Málaga/Sevilla).
New: Costinha (Dynamo Moscow/Atlético Madrid), Zé Castro (Académica/Atlético Madrid), Fábio Felício (União de Leiria/Real Sociedad).
Left: Litos (Málaga/Académica), Edgar (Málaga/relegated), Jorge Ribeiro (Málaga/indefined), Caneira (Valência/Sporting), Mário Silva (Cádiz/Boavista).

Staying: Paulo Ferreira and Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea), Cristiano Ronaldo (Mamchester United), Boa Morte (Fulham), Pedro Mendes (Portsmouth), Vaz Tê (Bolton), Nuno Valente (Everton).
New: Hilário (Nacional/Chelsea).
Left: Maniche (Chelsea/Atlético Madrid), Abel Xavier (Middlesbrough/indefined).

Staying: Figo (Inter Milan), Vidigal (Udinese/Livorno), Fernando Couto (Parma).
New: Semedo (Sporting/Cagliari), Ricardo Esteves (promoted with Reggina).
Left: Rui Costa (AC Milan/Benfica).

Staying: Pauleta (PSG), Tiago (Lyon), Beto (Bordeaux).
New: Marco Ramos (Châteauroux/Lens)
Left: Delfim (Marseilles/Young Boys), Postiga (St. Étienne/FC Porto), Bruno Basto (St. Étienne/without club), Paulo Costa (Bordeaux/Aris Salónika).

Staying: Zé António (München Gladbach), Fernando Meira (Stuttgart), Alex (Wolfsburg).
New: Hugo Almeida (F.C. Porto/Werder Bremen), Sérgio Pinto (promoted with Aachen)
Left: Ricardo Sousa (Hannover/Boavista), Roberto Pinto (Arminia/Grasshoppers).

Staying: Virgílio Teixeira (RKC)
New: Manuel da Costa (Nancy/PSV)
Left: Edgar Marcelino (Roosendaal/Vitória de Guimarães)

Staying: Sérgio Conceição (Standard Liège).
New: Nuno Coelho (Maia/Standard Liège), Sá Pinto (Sporting/ Standard Liège), Rogério Matias (V. Guimarães/ Standard Liège), Areias (F.C. Porto/Standard Liège).
Left: Jorge Costa (Standard Liège/end of career), Moreira (Standard Liège/without club).

Staying: Daniel Fernandes (PAOK), Filipe da Costa (Ionikos), Ednilson (OFI), Chiquinho (Xanthi).
New: Nuno Viveiros (Nacional/Xanthi), Marco Paulo (Laval/Ionikos), Paulo Costa (Bordeaux/Aris Salónika), Carlos Carneiro (Gil Vicente/Panionios).
Left: Hélder Cristóvão (Larissa/end of career).

Staying: Danny, Cícero and Nuno (all Dynamo Moscow).
Left: Costinha (Dynamo Moscow/Atlético Madrid), Maniche (Dynamo Moscow/ Atlético Madrid), Jorge Ribeiro (Dynamo Moscow/ without club), Frechaut (Dynamo Moscow/ Sporting Braga).

Staying: «Jonas», Pedro Moutinho, Vítor Lima (all Falkirk), Bruno Aguiar, José Gonçalves (Hearts).
New: Tiago Costa (Benfica B/Hearts)

Staying: João Paiva, Filipe Duarte (Apollon); Hélio Pinto, Ricardo Fernandes (Apoel); Pedro Moita, Zé Nando (AEK Larnaca).
New: Andrade (Académica/Paphos), Ivo Afonso (Moreirense/Olympiakos), Hugo Machado (Barreirense/Apollon), Miguel Fidalgo (Nacional/AEK), Paulo Adriano (Académica/AEK), Nélson Veiga (Naval/Omonia).
Left: Kenedy (Lyttos, Greece)

Staying: Nelson Ferreira (FC Thun)
New: João Manuel Pinto (promoted with Sion), Carlitos (Benfica/Sion), Delfim (Marseilles/Young Boys), Roberto Pinto (Arminia/Grasshoppers).

Staying: Carlos (Steaua)
New: Manuel José (Boavista/Cluj), Cadú (Boavista/Cluj), Pedro Oliveira (Vitória de Setúbal/Cluj), Semedo (Estrela da Amadora/Cluj), Mário Jorge (Barreirense/Farul).

Staying: Furtado (CSKA), Nuno Almeida (Vihren), Serginho (Vihren).
Left: Filipe Cândido (Lokomotiv/Greece), Bruno Fernandes (Beroe/Desportivo das. Aves).

Staying: Ricardo Nascimento (FC Seoul)
Left: Franco (FC Seoul/Naval)

New: Dani Rodrigues (Bournemouth)



The Gil Vicente-Belenenses saga (see below) continues, with the Liga ready to kick off this weekend. Gil's application for an injunction against their relegation, ruled by the FPF Council of Justice, has been accepted by the Lisbon Administrative Court. But the wording of the decision from the latter court is ambiguous, and Liga president Valentim Loureeiro has asked the court for clarification before the relevant games involving the two clubs Sunday. Three scenarios are possible:

a) Benfica play Belenenses in the Liga, Leixões play Gil Vicente in the Liga de Honra, as per the decision of the FPF Council of Justice on 22 August.

b) As per the situation that existed before the above decision, the two games are Benfica v Gil Vicente and Leixões v Belenenses.

c) Games involving the two clubs are suspended until a definitive decision is made.

Meanwhile, Gil have sent a fax to FIFA relating the whole process, claiming that the FPF originally advised Gil to go to the civil courts over the registration of the Angolan player Mateus . It was the fact that Gil took this case to the civil courts which prompted Belenenses to claim that Gil should be relegated instead of them.

Portuguese international midfielder Pedro Mendes of Portsmouth is out of hospital after spending Wednesday night under observation following an horrendous challenge by Ben Thatcher of Manchester City in a Premiership game.

Abel Xavier is back in training with English club Middlesboro. He will be able to return to playing in November after a suspension for doping.


Jesualdo Ferreria was officially presented as the new FC Porto coach Monday, and held his first training session with the squad.

Boavista , who Ferreira left last week, also presented a new coach, taking over from caretaker Pedro Barny (who will stay on as assistant): Montenegran Zeljko Petrovic, 40. It is Petrovic's first experience as first coach of a club, although he has worked under Ruud Gullit at Feyenoord and with Martin Jol, currently coach at Tottenham, at RKJ Waalwijk. Saturday's opener at Sporting will have Pedro Barny on the bench. Petrovic will be the only non-Portuguese coach in the Liga at the start of the season.


FC Porto (Liga winners last season) won their 15th SuperTaça Cândido Oliveira Saturday with a 3-0 win over Vitória de Setúbal (losing Taça de Portugal finalists, to winners FC Porto). All three goals came in the second half through Adriano, Anderson and Vierinha. The match, which marks the beginning of the Portuguese season and is equivalent to the English Charity Shield, was played at União de Leiria's Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa.

The teams lined up:

FC Porto: Helton, Bosingwa, Pepe, Marek Cech, Paulo Assunção, Ibson, Raul Meireles, Anderson (Jorginho 87), Alan, Adriano (Lisandro Lopes 80), Ricardo Quaresma (Vieirinha 70).

Vitória de Setúbal: Marco Tábuas, Janício, Auri, Hugo, Nandinho, Sandro, Binho, Adalto (Fonseca 61), Ademar (Mário Carlos 66), Varela, Lourenço (Labarthe 75).

Jesualdo Ferreira, who watched the SuperTaça game from the stands, will be officially presented as the FC Porto coach Monday. He replaces Dutchman Co Adriaanse, and moves controversially from local rivals Boavista.

Brazil won the ninth Mundialito of beach football Sunday, beating Portugal 3-1 in the Final in Portimão, in the Algarve. Bruno and Sidney but Brazil in front on two and five minutes, with alan pulling one back.a minute from the end, Sidney provided the coup de grace to make it 3-1. Argentina beat England 5-3 in the play-off for third place.


Boavista coach Jesualdo Ferreira has terminated his contract with the club after a matter of months. It is expected that he will sign a contract shortly with FC Porto, whose coach Co Adriaanse resigned last week.

Ferreira's exit from Boavista has not been pacific. He was booed on his return to Portugal from England at the weekend, and journalists were assaulted after a training session at the Bessa, reportedly by Boavista 'fans'.


FC Porto central defender Pedro Emanuel, who tore his Achilles tendon in the warm-up before Saturday's friendly against Manchester City, has undergone surgery and will be out until at least the end of the year.


Boavista coach Jesualdo Ferreira is reported to be at the top of the list to take over from Co Adriaanse at FC Porto. Ferreira has been at Boavista a matter of months.

Former Secretary of State for Sport Hermínio Loureiro has been elected the new president of the Liga de Clubes … but his appointment is subject to appeal, which has come from Nacional president Rui Alves.


Co Adriaanse has resigned as coach of FC Porto. At the root of the resignation lies the Porto board's unwillingness to push the boat out and get Adriaanse what he wanted: a top class striker. He had been angling for his compatriot, Dutch international Hesselink, to take over from Benni McCarthy, sold to Blackburn, but the price tag of eight million euros was beyond Porto's means. Ironically (or perhaps not), the Board has announced the return of Hélder Postiga, on loan to St Étienne last season and out of Adriaanse's plans for this. Porto are in England to play a friendly against Portsmouth Thursday, with former Porto star and assistant to Adriaanse Rui Barros as caretaker. A new coach is expected to be announced next week.

Since José Mourinho left at the end of the 2003-2004 season, four coaches have passed through the Estádio do Dragão: Italian Luigi del Neri, who was sacked before the season began, Spanish Vítor Fernandez, who lasted half a season, José Couceiro, who lasted the other half, and Co Adriaanse.

Adriaanse came to Porto at the beginning of last season and despite some hiccups along the way, including a disastrous Champions League campaign and white handkerchiefs waved at the Dragão on various occasions, the team won the Liga title and the Taça de Portugal, Adriaanse's first titles of his career.


Cristiano Ronaldo scored two, and passed for Solksjaer to score, in his return to Manchester United's team in their 4-1 friendly win over Oxford United. "Even if you don't like him or even hate him, you have to admire him," said the Oxford United site.


In an interview with Portuguese radio, Manchester United's assistant coach Carlos Queiróz has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo will be staying at the club, despite a possible backlash against him from the English public after he was 'involved' in the sending-off of Wayne Rooney at the World Cup. Queiróz said: "Manchester United and all of its players are used to being booed by the opponent's fans, so there won't be any problem."

Former Benfica president Jorge de Brito died Wednesday. De Brito was at the helm of the club between 1992 and 1994. His funeral took place Thursday.

Boavista (and Varzim of the Liga de Honra) have regularised their Social Security obligations and have been given the all-clear to register players and contracts.



Portuguese international Costinha came on as sub on 58 minutes in Atlético Madrid's 0-0 draw with Dynamo Dresden … and was sent off ten minutes later for a reckless challenge.


Benfica trained Monday for the first time at their new training complex in Seixal, on the other side of the River Tagus from Lisbon. The project is to be sponsored by the bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos, which will give its name to the complex.

FC Porto have arrived in Holland for a mini pre-season tour. They will be based at Lutte. The players making up the group are:

Goalkeepers: Helton, Vítor Baia and Paulo Ribeiro;

Defenders: Bosingwa, Bruno Alves, Pedro Emanuel, Pepe, Marech Cech, Ezequias and João Paulo;

Midfielders: Raul Meireles, Ibson, Paulo Assunção, Diogo Valente e Jorginho;

Forwards: Adriano, Alan, Anderson, Sektioui, Bruno Moraes, Lisandro, McCarthy, Quaresma, Sokota and Vieirinha.

Former Benfica, Boavista and Sporting midfielder Rui Bento is the new coach of relegated Penafiel, taking over from Luís Castro.

Historic club Farense of the Algarve, which had to finish with its senior teams because of dire financial problems, will have a senior team in the amateur 2nd district league next season. The objective is to put Farense back in the top flight by 2010, according to its directors. Former player Carlos Costa will be the coach.

Midfielder Custódio will be Sporting's new captain, taking over from Ricardo Sá Pinto. Ricardo and João Moutinho are vice-captains.

Former Benfica full back Scott Minto has hung up his boots at the age of 34. Minto, whose last club was Rotherham, played at the Luz under Graeme Souness at the end of the 90s.


José Mourinho was awarded the Gold Medal of his home town of Setúbal Saturday, thus joining historic names such as the poet Manuel Bocage and the actress Luísa Todi. "If I said that in the last 200 years, there has been no one who has projected the name of Setúbal nationally and internationally as Mourinho has, I don't think I'd be wrong," said the Mayor, Carlos de Sousa. José Mourinho, sporting a radical cropped haircut, appeared touched: "I feel like I've been recognised, not by the City Council but by the city itself and its people. I haven't lived in Setúbal for about 12 years, but when I return, there are sensations that don't lie, feelings that can only be one thing. I feel like an idol to the youngsters and I feel the affection of the oldsters."


The doping charge against Benfica's Nuno Assis has been shelved by the FPF. He allegedly tested positive on 3 December last year after a game against Marítimo, and has been suspended ever since.

Pedro Barbosa, who hung up his boots at the end of the 2004/05 season, has returned to Sporting as Director of Football. In his year 'off' he took a post-graduate diploma in Sports Marketing and did some commentating for television.

Former referee Vítor Correia has died after a long illness. He stopped officiating in 1991, but had been a regular commentator on television ever since.


Abel Xavier, 33, has had his suspension for doping reduced from 18 months to 12, meaning that he can return to playing in September.


The Belenenses/ Gil Vicente controversy has been ripped wide open, with the FPF Council of Justice overturning the Liga Disciplinary Committee decision to confirm Belenenses' relegation to the Liga de Honra and keeping Gil in the Liga. The dispute is over the legality of Gil's using an unregistered player (Mateus) last season. If it was just on the table, Gil would stay up, and Belenenses would go down.


Benfica defender Alcides was kidnapped at the weekend in São Paulo, Brazil. He has since been released, but will arrive late for training with the club in Switzerland.


The Benfica squad, at least those not on international duty, including 'new' signing Rui Costa, have flown to Switzerland ahead of their two-week training camp, first in Nyon, then in Yverdon. There were around a hundred fans to meet them at the airport.


Clubs will be able to field teams with players from any country in Liga games next season. As from the 2007/08 season, squads will have to include six players brought through the club's development system, the number increasing to eight the following season.

Benfica are to donate receipts from the Taça de Portugal game against Tourizense on 11 January to club member José Carlos Santos, run over when Benfica played in Manchester in the Champions League.



Coach Manuel José has taken Al-Ahly to their fifth title this season with a 3-0 win over Zamalek (coached by Manuel Cajuda) to take the Egyptian Cup. This season Al-Ahly have won the Egyptian league title, the Egyptian SuperCup, the African SuperCup and the African Champions League.


Sporting Braga will officially present their squad to the fans on 5 August in a friendly against Sporting at the Braga Municipal Stadium (21.00).

The nomination of referees for Liga matches will be moving from the Liga to the Federation. A new sports law seeks to separate the entity that nominates the referees from the one that evaluates them.

União de Leiria could be wihout a home next season. They have been playing in the Estádio Municipal in Leiria, built for Euro 2004, but the public company that runs the stadium reportedly owes the club 780,000 euros. União have been in contact with local councils to sound them out about using another stadium, but the councils of Marinha Grande, Fátima and Torres Novas have all turned the club down.

Vitória de Setúbal have signed a partnership deal with the once great Vitória de Bahia, now languishing in the Brazilian third division.

The offices of Estrela da Amadora were burgled in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The sporting director's computer and some important documents were stolen.


Benfica midfielder Nuno Assis has received a 6-month ban for the use of an illegal substance. As he has already served most of the ban, he will be able to return on 4 August.

Belenenses have filed criminal charges against member of the Liga's Disciplinary Committee after the latter went back on their previous decision to relegate Gil Vicente from the Liga and replace them with Belenenses. The Lisbon club will also appeal to the FPF Council of Justice and will take the case to FIFA.


The Liga Disciplinary Committee decided Friday to shelve Belenenses' claim that Gil Vicente should be relegated in their place because of irregularities in the so-called 'Caso Mateus' (see below). Belenenses have said that they will be taking the case to the Public Prosecutor's Office.


The presidents of four clubs from the centre of Portugal, Naval, União de Leiria, Académica, and newly promoted Beira-Mar, met Thursday to discuss ways of attracting more paying customers to their grounds. The latter three all play in 30,000-seat stadiums built for Euro 2004, but none of the teams attract more than 5,000 per game, except for games against the Três Grandes Benfica, Sporting and FC Porto.


The Liga has decided that Gil Vicente will be relegated to the Liga de Honra in place of Belenenses (see here). Gil are to appeal to the Football Federation.

Former Portugal coach Humberto Coelho is set to join Al-Shabab of Saudi Arabia. He has also been coach of South Korea and Morrocco.


Benfica are the top Portuguese team in the world club rankings, according to the latest statistics from the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. Benfica are in 67th place (down from 66th), FC Porto are in 71st (up from 82nd) and Sporting stay 91st. Top of the rankings are Liverpool.


Former Sporting coach José Peseiro has signed a one-season contract with Saudi Arabia's biggest club Al Hilal, which has nine players in the Saudi squad for the World Cup. Al Hilal were coached by Artur Jorge in the 2001/02 season.

FC Porto will prepare the new season in De Lutte, Holland, between 17 and 28 July. They will play four friendlies during that time against: Stevo Gestereen, Rohda Raalte, Groningen and Rigtersbleek



Daúto Faquirá has been contracted by Estrela da Amadora as their coach for the coming season, replacing Toni. Faquirá was previously with Estoril Praia


Sporting Braga are the latest club to do away with their B team, following in the footsteps of Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting, among others. Regulations that prevent this type of team from being promoted has led to the moves, and the clubs are now looking to satellites to provide the development of their second-string and youth players, Benfica and Alverca being a case in point.


Fernando Santos is the new coach at Benfica. O Engenheiro was officially presented Saturday evening after signing a two-year contract. Santos has just left AEK of Greece, where he also coached Panathinaikos. In Portugal, he has coached FC Porto, Sporting, Estoril Praia and Estrela da Amadora.

Former Académica coach Nelo Vingada said Saturday that he is virtually certain to take over the coaching job with the Egyptian National Team.

An incredible 30,000 women flocked to the National Stadium Saturday to demonstrate the country's support for the Selecção. The players were there to receive their cheers (and wolf-whisltes), and then 18,000 women were shepherded onto the pitch to form a giant Portuguese flag (A mais bela bandeira do mundo– 'The most beautiful flag in the world'); it was, apparently, a world record.


Manchester United's assistant coach Carlos Queiróz is reported to have signed a two-year deal with Benfica to take over from Ronald Koeman, who moved to PSV Eindhoven at the end of the season.

Former FC Porto striker Domingos Paciência, who has been in charge of Porto's B team for the last two seasons, has joined União de Leiria as coach on a one-year contract. União was José Mourinho's first coaching job.

Nelo Vingada, who kept Académica in the Liga by the skin of their teeth, is set to sign a contract to be the coach of the Egyptian national team. Vingada previously took Zamalek to the Egyptian title. Zamalek are now coached by Manuel Cajuda, with another Portuguese, Manuel José, at the helm of Al Ahly.

Former Sporting coach José Peseiro, assistant to Carlos Queiróz during his time at Real Madrid, has been linked to the vacant job at Spanish club Zaragoza.

Jesualdo Ferreira was officially presented as Boavista's new coach Friday. He said: "Boavista is the fourth biggest club in Portugal and has to return to European football."

Belenenses continue to seek their Liga reprieve. Relegated at the end of the season, they want Gil Vicente to go in their place. Gil wanted to unblock the registration of a player last season, Angolan Mateus, and went to the common courts. Liga regulations forbid this, and so Belenenses are trying to use the infraction to get Gil relegated. The Portuguese Football Federation has rejected the move, but Belenenses are now considering taking the case to FIFA.

Setúbal City Council is to donate land worth three million euros to Vitória de Setúbal. The cash-strapped club has until the end the end of the month to settle various debts that are preventing it from registering for next season's Liga and UEFA Cup.

The May on-line issue of the Italian version of GQ magazine has an 'interesting' video of Luís Figo and his wife Helen Svedin.


The National Sports Press Club (CNID) gave its awards at the Lisbon Casino Monday: Among the footballing winners were:

Best Portuguese Coach Abroad: Artur Jorge and José Mourinho
Coach of the Year: Co Adriaanse (FC Porto)
New Coach of the Year: Paulo Bento (Sporting)
Best Portuguese Player in the Liga: Ricardo Quaresma (FC Porto)


The police are investigating death threats made to Vitória de Guimarães president Vítor Magalhães. Vitória were relegated from the Liga for the first time in 48 years.

PSG's Portuguese striker Pauleta was top scorer in France with 21 goals.


Jorge Jesus has left União de Leiria. The coach is set to join Belenenses, relegated from the Liga.

Thursday saw confirmation of the exit of Nelo Vingada from Académica and the arrival of Carlos Carvalhal at Sporting Braga.

Luís Norton de Matos, who had a good start to the season with Vitória de Setúbal before leaving in dispute with the club president, has joined newly relegated Vitória de Guimarães.

FC Porto are to scrap their B team. The decision is based on the fact that official B teams cannot be promoted from the Segunda B (third division), which gives the players little incentive and keeps them playing in a league of relatively low quality.

Ricardo Sã Pinto has decided to stick around for another season. He had said that this season would be his last, but he was sent off in the final game, and the turnaround is widely seen as a wish to clean his final record. However, Sporting's coach Paulo Bento has said that he does not want the hitherto club captain.


Carlos Carvalhal will take over from Jesualdo Ferreira as coach of Sporting Braga. Ferreira has moved to Boavista. Carvalhal has been out of coaching work since being ousted from Belenenses earlier in the season. He has recently been working as a TV commentator.

Luís Norton de Matos will try to bring Vitória de Guimarães straight back up to the Liga after they were relegated on the last day of the season. Norton de Matos was at Vitória de Setúbal at the beginning of the season and gave them such a positive start, despite financial problems, that the club confirmed Liga survival relatively early.

The Players' Union published Wednesday a list of the clubs that it says are late paying salaries: Boavista, Vitória de Setúbal, Estrela da Amadora, Marítimo, Gil Vicente, Belenenses, Rio Ave and Penafiel. Boavista have already responded, saying that the club only owes money in specific cases.

Benfica beat local side Costa do Sol 3-1 (Marcelo 2, Miccoli) Friday on their mini-tour of Mozambique. They now face Angolan club Petro de Luanda in the Finalof the four-way tournament (Petro beat Ferroviário do Maputo 1-0 in the other game).


Benfica and coach Ronald Koeman have parted company. After a season which was seen as a failure, despite the team getting to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Koeman's exit was always on the cards. The Dutchman returns home to PSV Eindhoven. Sports daily Record suggested that Koeman has paid Benfica 500 thousand euros to release him from his contract, which was to terminate at the end of next season.

Benfica are rumoured to be interested in the return of Spanish coach José António Camacho, who left the Luz two seasons ago. However, Camacho's agent said that there is not truth in the rumours. Meanwhile, Fernando Chalana will take over as caretaker.

It has been 14 years since a coach has hung on for two seasons or more at the Luz: Sven-Goran Eriksson stayed for three years at the beginning of the 90s. Here is the list of coaches since then:

1989/90: Sven-Goran Eriksson
1990/91: Sven-Goran Eriksson
1991/92: Sven-Goran Eriksson
1992/93: Tomislav Ivic/Toni
1993/94: Toni
1994/95: Artur Jorge
1995/96: Artur Jorge/Mário Wilson
1996/97: Paulo Autuori/Mário Wilson/Manuel José
1997/98: Manuel José/Mário Wilson/Graeme Souness
1998/99: Grame Souness/Shéu Han
1999/00: Jupp Heynckes
2000/01: Jupp Heynckes/José Mourinho/Toni
2001/02: Toni/Jesualdo Ferreira
2002/03: Jesualdo Ferreira/Fernando Chalana/José António Camacho
2003/04: José António Camacho
2004/05: Giovanni Trapattoni
2005/06: Ronald Koeman

Belenenses have accepted the resignation of coach José Couceiro, handed in after the game at Gil Vicente Sunday. The defeat meant the relegation of the historic club.

Nelo Vingada has left Académica. He has an invitation to coach the Egyptian national side. There are also rumours that he may be heading to Benfica as head of player development.

Carlos Brito has left Boavista after just one season in charge. The team's sixth place in the Liga meant that they missed out on qualification for Europe again, one of the club's targets for this season. Brito is replaced by Jesualdo Ferreira whose contract at Sporting Braga was not renewed, despite an excellent season which saw them take fourth spot..His contract is for two seasons.

Manuel Machado has left Nacional after qualifying them for the UEFA Cup for only the second time in the club's history. He cited family reasons for his decision. The coach was previously with Vitória de Guimarães and Moreirense.

Benfica have left for Mozambique on a five-day tour. The players who have travelled are:
Moretto, Moreira, Ricardo Rocha, Anderson, Léo, Beto, Manduca, Miccoli, Karyaka, Marcel, Marco Ferreira, Karagounis, Geovanni, Robert, Artur Futre, Zé Rui, Fonte and Manú.

Sporting Braga travel to Canada Wednesday where they will play two friendlies, against Toronto Supra and Santa Clara, in the Lamport Stadium in Toronto.

Liga referees will continue to be sponsored by the estate agent ERA next season. The value of the sponsorship deal is over 650,000 euros. The name ERA appears on the sleeves of referees' shirts.

The players of Marco, relegated from the Liga de Honra (II) to the second division (III), have put in a collective recission of their contracts. Their salaries are four months overdue.

Chelsea coach José Mourinho has been voted Premiership Manager of the Year for the second year running.

Portuguese coach Fernando Santos has left Greek club AEK Athens.


Sporting Braga have decided not to extend coach Jesualdo Ferreira's contract. He has been at Braga for three and a half seasons, and has taken the club into Europe every time.

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics has published its latest world club rankings: Benfica climb to 56th, FC Porto to 82nd, while Sporting drop to 91st.


PSV Eindhoven are interested in having Ronald Koeman as their coach next season. Koeman still has a season left on his contract with Benfica.

Marítimo coach Ulisses Morais has renewed his contract with the club for another season.

Reports that bids for José Mourinho's Premiership medal, being auctioned on e-Bay, had reached 14.5 million euros have been scotched. It was withdrawn and was being auctioned again, having reached the more modest figure of 1,400 euros by Tuesday afternoon. But Mourinho´s jacket, which he also threw into the crowd, had reached 220,000 euros.


José Mourinho received a championship medal after the Chelsea v Manchester United Premiership game in England Saturday ... and promptly threw it into the crowd. The Portuguese press reports that the medal is now on e-Bay and current bidding is at 10 million pounds (around 14 million euros), with the deadline for bids still ten days away.



Sporting captain Ricardo Sá Pinto will end his career in a blaze not of glory but of anti-climax after the Liga Disciplinary Committee suspended him for two games ; there are just two fixtures left in the Liga programme. The fiery Sá Pinto was sent off for words to a linesman in the 89th minute of last weekend's 0-0 draw at home to Naval. He was also fined 2,400 euros.

Académica president Eduardo Simões has been suspended for one month and fined 1,000 euros following comments made at the end of the match against Benfica on the 18th jornada: he called the referee Artur Soares "a real artist".

Benfica's Director of Football José Veiga has maintained that coach Ronald Koeman will remain at the club at least until the end of his contract, which terminates at the end of next season. There has been some speculation about Koeman's continuation after the team went out of the Champiosn League and is struggling to make second place in the Liga ahead of Sporting.


Sport Lisboa e Benfica (SLB), to give Benfica its full name, is the biggest club in Portugal. Fans of the club, one of the nicknames of which is O Glorioso, have a favourite chant:


Unfortunately, the scan of the chant allows for an abusive version in which the words 'filhos da puta' (literally 'sons of whores') replace the word 'Glorioso'. This version is chanted by the fans of many Portuguese clubs against what is widely seen as the club of the establishment, even if the opponeents on the day are not Benfica.

It was expected in the circumstances, then, that FC Porto's fans would chant the abusive version after clinching the title on Saturday. What was unexpected, however, was that the FC Porto players would join in from the balcony of the Estádio do Dragão, the fans thronging below.

The incident, caught by the cameras of independent television channel TVI, has caused quite a stir amongst Benfiquistas, and found its way onto the front page of the sports daily A Bola. Benfica have yet to react officially.


FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, Porto's Director of Football Reinaldo Telles, the referee Jacinto Paixão and the entrepreneur António Araújo have all been cleared of wrongdoing in the so-called Apito Dourado ('Golden Whistle') process, the ongoing investigation into corruption within the game. This particular ruling relates to a game between FC Porto and Estrela da Amadora two seasons ago while José Mourinho was still at the club. The suspicion was that the referee had been contacted with a view to him influencing the result of the game, but the suspicion has now, it seems, been lifted.

According to the French magazine France Football, José Mourinho is the best paid coach in the world; he earned 10.9 million euros last year.


Benfica have announced that they now have 150,000 sócios (associate members), making them the second most heavily supported club in the world. (Manchester United have 152,000). The holders of card numbers 149,999 to 150,001 will be presented with a free season ticket for next season.


After taking Benfica to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, coach Ronald Koeman is suddenly out of favour with the Benfica support, especially after a (fortunate) 2-2 draw with Marítimo at the Luz at the weekend. A TV poll had 67% of those who phoned in wanting him out. Meanwhile, rumours from England have him lined up for the Newcastle job.

Struggling Vitória de Guimarães, the tfourth best supported club in the country, returned to training after the weekend to jeers from around 300 fans observing the session. The fans have called a boycott of the upcoming game against bottom club Penafiel, although fans who adhere to the boycott have been asked to turn up at the ground but not enter. Vitória fans are unhappy with what they see as the players' lack of commitment to an increasingly hopeless-looking cause.

Standard Liège captain, Sérgio Conceição, has received just a four-month ban and a fine of 2,500 euros after ripping off his shirt and thrusting it in the referee's face when he was sent off in a recent Belgian Cup game. The former Portuguese international was fearing a much longer suspension that would have finished his career prematurely.



A Bola, the biggest of the three sports dailies in Portugal (the others are Record and O Jogo), began publishing in North America Wednesday. The first 'American' edition was distributed in seven States along the East Coast, from Boston to Miami. The 61-year-old paper is hoping to move into Canada eventually, where there is a large emigrant population, although ironically, the news broke this week that Canada is expelling a large number of illegal Portuguese immigrants (among other nationalties).


Belgian football's Disciplinary Committee will meet Monday to decide the fate of Portuguese midfielder Sérgio Conceição, captain of Standard Liège, recently voted Belgium's Player of 2005. Conceição faces suspension of anything from eight weeks to five years following an incident in Tuesday's Belgian Cup game between Standard and Waregem. At one point, Conceição spat at Stijn Meert of Verveeken. He was shown a red card, and as he was leaving the pitch, he ripped off his shirt and thrust it into the arms of the referee Peter Vervecken. If the Committee deems this to have been an act of aggression, then Conceição may face a very long suspension. The player aplogised to the referee and the fans via the club's website, and the club has fined him, but he is not likely to lose the captain's armband.

Artur Jorge has returned to Saudi Arabian club Al Nasr as coach; he was there in 2000-2001. He recently left the same job with the Cameroons claiming interference from above in his work and overdue salaries.


The former president of Porto club Salgueiros, José António Linhares, was sentenced Wednesday to a 12-month suspended prison sentence for tax fraud. the charge referred to the mid-90s, but Linhares insists he is innocent.

A fourth member of the Braga club Inter da Boavista has died in hospital. The team was travelling to a game ten days ago when their transit van crashed. A minute's silence was observed in memory of the players at last weekend's Liga games.


By all accounts, Ulissses Morais, who was recently sacked by Gil Vicente, is the new coach at Madeiran club Marítimo, replacing Brazilian Paulo Bonamigo, who terminated his contract last week.


The trial that will pit Chelsea coach José Mourinho against Hélder Mota, a member of the FC Porto claque Super Dragões, will begin on 6 June in Lisbon, as reported Tuesday in the national daily Correio da Manhã. The process refers to what allegedly happened before FC Porto's triumphant Champions League title in 2004. Mourinho allegedly sent suggestive SMS messages to Mota´s girlfriend, and Mota allegedly sent Mourinho death threats and spat in his face before the CL Final.


Another chicotada psicológica ('psychological whipping') in the Liga: Paulo Bonamigo has been sacked by mid-table Marítimo of Madeira. The Brazilian coach accepted responsibility for recent poor results (including a 0-0 home draw with Rio Ave at the weekend) but also pointed his finger at discipline problems in the changing room. No replacement for Bonamigo has yet been named, although former Sporting coach José Peseiro has been mooted.


Gil Vicente and coach Ulisses Morais mutually rescinded contract Tuesday. Gil are in a precarious position at the bottom of the table, but the rescission apparently has more to do with a difference of opinion between the coach and the president of the club, António Fiúza, than the team's form. Former Gil (and Sporting) forward Paulo Alves, currently Director of Football at the club, is to take over as coach, at least on a caretaker basis.

Artur Jorge, once coach of Portugal, has resigned as coach of Cameroon, along with assistant Raúl Águas. There is a suggestion that delayed salaries may be at the root of the problem.


Rio Ave and their coach António Sousa have parted company. Sousa offered his resignation after Monday night's 0-5 drubbing at Sporting Braga and it was accepted by the Board. Coach of Rio Ave's junior sides João Eusébio takes over as caretaker.

Meanwhile, Naval have named Rogério Gonçalves as the permanent replacement for Álvaro Magalhães, sacked last week. The team was coached by caretaker Fernando Mira for their win at Belenenses at the weekend. Gonçalves rescinded his contract with Liga de Honra club Leixões last week. This is a return for him to Figueira da Foz, home of Naval; he brought them up from the Liga de Honra last season for the first time in the club's history but left for Leixões in the close season. He will be officially presented Wednesday.



Portuguese coach Manuel José, who was at Sporting, Boavista and Benfica in Portugal, has won the African Super Cup with his club Al-Ahly. The Egyptians beat FAR Rabat of Morocco in Cairo, but it took penalties after extra time to do it, Al Ahly winning 4-2.

The Board at Algarve club Portimonense of the Liga de Honra (second division) have headed off a strike by the players by coming up with one of the two months' salary owing. The team, currently in fifth in the division, will now face Desportivo das Chaves Sunday.

Sporting's Brazilian striker Liedson was considered the Player of the Month for January by the Players' Union. "It's a trophy for the whole group," said Liedson.


FC Porto central defender Pedro Emanuel, born in Luanda, has accepted the invitation from Angola coach Oliveira Gonçalves to play in the upcoming World Cup. Pedro Emanuel will be a late addition to the squad - he did not take part in the qualifying matches - and has stressed that he does not want to have a disruptive influence on the changing room.

Former Sporting captain Pedro Barbosa is set to start a new career as a TV commentator with cable sports channel Sport TV. His first game at the mike will be Sporting Braga v Rio Ave next Monday.


Naval coach Álvaro Magalhães was sacked Tuesday in the wake of his inablity to 'turn the ship around'. A name mooted to replace him is Diamantino Miranda, until now coach of Portimonense of the Algarve. Magalhães lasted just ten matches after taking over from Manuel Cajuda.


Benfica midfielder Nuno Assis, who failed a drug test on 3 December after a game against Marítimo, has been provisionally suspended by UEFA. The player has already been suspended by his club.

The players of Portimonense of the Liga de Honra (second division) have threatened to strike if they are not paid before next Friday, and will fail to show up for the league game against Desportivo das Chaves. The club owes two months' salary.

Portuguese international midfielder Costinha is in dispute with his current club, Moscow Dynamo, and is currently suspended. At the root of the problem is the fact that Costinha was told that he had to clean his own boots.


Penafiel's Brazilian forward Roberto is the latest player in Portugal to fail a drug test. He tested positive for Salbutanol, a treatment for asthma, after the game against FC Porto on the 15th day of the championship.

Sporting's star Brazilian striker Liedson, top scorer last season, has extended his contract with the 'Lions' until 2010.


Benfica midfielder Nuno Assis failed a drug test, made after the game against Marítimo on 3 December, it was revealed Friday. The substance found was 19-norandrosterone - a derivative of nandrolone. The player has been suspended by the club until further notice.



FC Porto coach Co Adriaanse had his car stoned and kicked and a Very light was fired at it Sunday. The Dutchman was in it at the time. The incident happened as he was leaving the club's training facility in Gaia, near Porto, after the 0-0 draw at Rio Ave. The perpetrators, a group of about 20, reportedly belonging to the SuperDragões claque, were caught on security cameras. The club has said that it will take the incident to its ultimate consequences.


Eusébio celebrated his 64th birthday Wednesday. And it is two years since Miklos Fehér died while playing for Benfica at Vitória de Guimarães.


English club Middlesborough rescinded Monday the contract it had with Portuguese utility player Abel Xavier, who tested positive in an anti-doping test last autumn. Xavier has received an 18-month ban from UEFA, which he contests.

Senegalese striker N'Doye has resorted to jumping over the wall of the training ground when it is empty to train on his own after being suspended by bottom club Penafiel. The player is in dispute with the club over an alleged broken promise about selling him during the transfer window. The president of the club is former Portugal coach António Oliveira.


União de Leiria have come to an understanding with Leirisport, the municipal company responsible for the Estádio Municipal Magalhães Pessoa, and will continue to play there; the company owes the club half a million euros. The 30,000 seat stadium was custom-built for the Euro 2004 tournament, but since then the average attendance for União de Leiria games has been little over 4,000. In the first six months of 2005, the total attendance for all league and cup games was just 19,000, the majority being invitations.

Vitória de Setúbal president Chumbita Nunes, who has presided over one of the blackest periods in the club's history (unpaid salaries, rescissions of contracts, etc), has decided not to run for the upcoming elections to find a new president of the club.


Sérgio Conceição of Belgian club Standard Liége has won the Soulier d'Or, awarded by Belgian journalists for the best player in the country. Conceição has recently been very vocal in his criticism of Luíz Felipe Scolari for not considering him for international duty.

Abel Xavier has filed an injunction against UEFA and FIFA to prevent the 18-month ban handed down to him for failing a drug test in Septemebr 2005 while playing for Middlesborough: "The suspension of 18 months, when there were contributory factors, clearly breaches the principle of the right to work and was a veritable death sentence since I'm 32 years old," he said.


The Cameroons' Portuguese coach Artur Jorge is threatening to quit over sixth months' unpaid salary and interference in decisions such as team selection and choice of friendly opponents and training venues.

A Bola published Saturday a breakdown of expenses earned by Portuguese referees. They earn 300 euros a month, 900 per game reffed, 80 euros extra if the game is on a working day and 20 euros per meal.

Leixões of the Liga de Honra (second division) had, at least until this weekend, the second best defence in Europe. They have let in just six goals in 17 games. FC Sheriff of Moldovia have the best: three goals in 15.


Benfica's Russian midfielder Andrey Karyaka, 27, faces disciplinary action within the club for an interview he gave to a Russian newspaper: Sovietski Sport. During the interview, he allegedly slagged off Benfica, coach Koeman and Portugal. He surfaced Thursday to deny the things he had said: "At least three quarters of the interview is pure invention." It will now be up to the Benfica board to come up with a solution to the situation.

The Estádio Municipal de Braga (the one that has just two sides and that was designed by the architect Souto de Moura for Euro 2004) has been awarded a prize for the best work of civil engineering in 2005 by SECIL, the giant concrete-producing corporation.


Estoril Praia has gained a reprieve from oblivion. A group of investors has appeared willing to pay off all the outstanding debts of the club, including the salaries of the players, who had threatened a mass rescission of contracts. Estoril will therefore, after all, play their game at Desportivo das Aves Saturday.

Another Liga de Honra club, Marco, will however not be turning up to play Portimonense. Also with grave financial difficulties, Marco have only ten players available, three of whom are goalkeepers. Portimonense did not agree to postpone the match.


The whole squad of Estoril Praia, of the Liga de Honra (second division), rescinded their contracts Thursday, claiming unpaid wages. At the same time, the coaching staff, including head coach Daúto Faquirá, resigned. It would seem that the historic club (founded in 1939) will now cease to be as a professional entity, when only last season it was in the Liga (first division).

In the same division, bottom club Ovarense are going through the same financial difficulties and after a dozen players rescinded their contracts in December, Thursday it was the turn of coach Manuel Correia .


FC Porto winger Ricardo Quaresma has been voted player of the month for the second month in a row by the Players' Union. The full list:

Ricardo Quaresma (FC Porto), 72 points
Lucho Gonzalez (FC Porto), 70
Harison (Nacional), 68
Paulo Assunção (FC Porto), 72
Nuno Gomes (Benfica), 67
Petit (Benfica), 67
Lisandro Lopez (FC Porto), 72
Ricardo (Sporting), 65
Júnior (Paços Ferreira), 64
Diego Benaglio (Nacional), 63
Miguelito (Nacional), 63
Tonel (Sporting), 63
Moretto (V. Setúbal), 63


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