The foul by João Pinto on South Korea's Park Ji-sung was voted the worst of the World Cup by Reuters journalists covering the tournament. JP was shown the red card for the challenge, which in turn led to the infamous 'punching' incident. (infordesporto)
Brazilian celebrations following their WC Final win got out of hand in Costa da Caparica, on the opposite bank of the River Tagus to Lisbon. The police were called and used dogs and rubber bullets to break up the fun. Seven people, including one policeman, needed hospital treatment.
Portugal were officially 21st out of the 32 teams competing in the tournament, according to statistics published by FIFA Sunday.
The on-line version of the sports daily Record is running a survey to find the 'best' Portuguese player in the World Cup. As at 25/06, the top three are Sérgio Conceição (27%), Pauleta (23%) and Paulo Bento (21%). Luís Figo has received just 0.7% of the votes.
A Bola published Sunday the report that FPF vice-president António Boronha submitted to the FPF General Meeting last week. It is a detailed attack on (principally) coach António Oliveira and mentions that:
- For much of the time in the Orient, Oliveira was not on talking terms with his assistants Rui Caçador and José Romão and various key members of the FPF administration;
- The assistants and FPF directors were the last to know about who were the 23 chosen by Oliveira for the squad;
- He did not come up with a programme of preparation for the squad - this was done by an FPF director, Carlos Godinho (who has since handed in his resignation);
- In the week before the squad got together, Oliveira was trying to re-nogotiate his contract with the FPF;
- Oliveira joined the squad properly only three days after the rest got together;
- He washed his hands of the Kenedy doping affair and left it up to others to sort it out;
- On the eve of departure from preparation in Macau to Seoul, Oliveira and two assistants went out for a night on the town, returning after 04.00;
- After the defeat at the hands of the USA (2-3), Oliveira had a 50-minute talk with the players on the training ground, but it was not to analyse the game, rather to criticise the FPF vice-president António Boronha;
- That António Oliveira said that he didn't want to be informed of the PolandvUSA result during the crucial game with South Korea; if the team had known the score, it is suggested, they may have been less aggressive and the violent scenes oj the pitch may not have happened. (A Bola)
Portuguese referee Vítor Pereira and linesman Carlos Matos will take no further part in the World Cup. Pereira reffed the games between Denmark and France and between Mexico and the USA. In the latter game, he was criticised for not giving a penalty to Mexico after an American defender handled in the area. ( infordesporto)
João Pinto was suspended until further notice by FIFA from any official footballing activity Tuesday. The chairman of the Disciplinary Commission, Marcel Mathier, cited articles 134 and 135 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code to support the action. The former allows provisional sanctions, the latter says that decisions can be based on all material available at the time, without necessarily having to interview the parties involved. (See FIFA Website)
The Commission has also requested that all images be made available to it. There are video images that are from stadium cameras not used for TV broadcasting. (infordesporto)
The Korean player Lee Yong-Pyo withdrew Tuesday his version of what happened at half time in the Portugal Korea game. He had originally said that the Portuguese players had asked the Koreans to play for a draw. Now he says, and specifically about Figo: "I never said that Figo had asked us to play the game out for a draw. He just asked us, via gestures, not to tackle violently." (A Bola On-line)
Luís Figo may decide not to play for the national team again in the light of the reaction of fans to the team's failure in Korea. The player was spared the mixed reception the players got at Lisbon and Oporto airports Sunday: he transferred directly to Madrid. ( infordesporto/ O Jogo)
The Football Federation (FPF) have convened a meeting for Thursday to discuss the World Cup campaign. The aim of the meeting is to analyse the reasons for Portugal's poor showing and to begin to pave the way to a more effective preparation of the team for EURO 2004.(infordesporto)
APAF, the Portuguese Referees Association, has called for the immediate suspension of João Pinto following his alleged aggression against the referee during the Portugal v Korea match. APAF has also criticised the FPF for not taking immediate action against the player. The FPF in turn have replied to the accusations, saying that no action could be taken until FIFA have made a decision on the issue. (See Quotes) (infordesporto)
The Disciplinary Commission of FIFA meets Wedensday to consider the João Pinto case. The Argentinian referee will be heard, as well as the FIFA doctor who examined him to witness the bruise allegedly caused by a punch from the player. JP may later be called to give his version of events. ( infordesporto)
'The Japan Times' published a photo Monday clearly showing some physical contact between João Pinto and the referee at the time of his sending-off.
Rumours that Luís Figo tried to arrange a draw with a Korean player were widely disclaimed Monday. Apparently, the Korean player involved, Lee Yong-Pyo, does not speak English, and Figo does not speak Korean (See Quotes). However, another Korean player, the midfielder Ahn Jung-Hwan, has to a certain extent corroborated his team-mate's story, although he does not specify names: "When we came back from the changing-rooms, the Portuguese players told us that if the result stayed as a draw, both the teams would qualify," he said. (A Bola On-line)
The Portuguese squad arrived back in Portugal Sunday morning after their disappointing showing in the World Cup. Despite their less than impressive performances, the players were generally well received, both in Lisbon and Oporto . Figo was the only player who didn't stay in Portugal - he transferred straight away to Madrid. The people who received the most flack from fans waiting at the airport were the president of the FPF Gilberto Madaíl (in Lisbon) and coach António Oliveira (in Oporto). At Sá Carneiro airport in Oporto, Oliveira's son was alledgedly involved in a scuffle with an irate fan.
According to the Korean news agency Yonhap, Luís Figo suggested to the South Korean defender Lee Yong-Pyo at half-time of their World Cup group game that the two teams play out the draw [which would have seen them both qualify as the USA were losing, and eventually lost, to Poland in the other group game taking place at the same time]. The Korean player alledges that Figo told the Koreans to "Lift your foot off the gas and play for the draw."
João Pinto looks to be in big trouble after it was revealed that he punched the referee in the stomach when he got a red card during Friday's match against South Korea. João Pinto, together with Luís Figo and Eusébio, went to the referee's changing room after the game to apologise, but it didn't stop the Argentinian Angel Sanchez from including the incident in his report. João Pinto faces up to a year's ban. FIFA will anounce its vedict on Monday (See Quotes).
The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) president, Gilberto Madaíl, implied Saturday that coach António Oliveira's job could be in in the balance, despite the fact that his contract runs for another two years.
State TV channel RTP revealed that the players of the Selecção requested a meeting with the Administration of the FPF 48 hours before the Korea game to discuss whether their bonuses could be paid untaxed. This brings back memories of Portugal's unhappy participation in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico when wrangling over bonuses disrupted the squad's preparation and performance.
The squad is due to land at Portela airport at 08.00 Sunday, Lisbon time.
Portuguese referee Vítor Pereira will officiate the game between Mexico/ USA on Monday. He refereed the Denmark/ France game in the group stage.
Portugal crashed out of the World Cup at the group stage Friday when they went down 0-1 to co-hosts South Korea in Incheon. A draw would have been enough for the Portuguese as the USA suprisingly lost to Poland 1-3, but Os Tugas had two players sent off (João Pinto and Beto), and despite a valiant late rally, the score remained. The squad returns to Portugal Sunday/Monday. (See Comment)
The Big One is just around the corner. Portugal have to beat South Korea in Incheon Friday to be sure of qualifying for the last 16. If they draw, They will depend on Poland beating the USA. If they lose, they can pack their bags.
If they do go through, they now know that they will meet either Mexico or Italy in the next round.
Right back Fréchaut is out of the reckoning for the game with an ankle injury. He will be replaced by Abel Xavier, fully recovered from a thigh injury, or Beto, who played in that possition against the USA. The only other doubt seems to be whether coach António Oliveira will stick with João Pinto at the expense of Rui Costa, or whether he will bring the Milan midfielder back at the expense of João Pinto or Sérgio Conceição.
António Oliveira on the importance of the game (See Quotes)
Training took place in heavy rain Wednesday. Full-back Fréchaut trained apart after twisting his ankle in the Poland game, and Petit joined him, but only as a precautionary measure.
João Pinto and Rui Jorge were at the press conference Wednesday. (See Quotes)
On his 50th birthday, António Oliveira appeared at Monday's game using crutches. The coach was watching Jorge Andrade surfing on the Internet when assistant coach José Romão came up behind him and patted him on the back. Oliveira lost his balance and twisted his ankle.
Full-back Fréchaut didn't train on Tuesday. He was taken off on the hour of the Poland match with a twisted ankle. He should be back in training Wednesday. Paulo Sousa and Abel Xavier trained without restrictions. (infordesporto)
In a poll run by Sports daily Record On-line, 60% said that António Oliveira should keep the same lin-up that beat Poland. This means Rui Costa on the bench, João Vieira Pinto starting.
It was the first time that Rui Costa ahd been used as a sub in his international career. He had been an unused sub before.
Pauleta's second goal was António Oliveira's 100th in his two spells as national coach.
More reactions to Monday's victory at Quotes.
On the Dia de Portugal ('Portugal Day' bank holiday) Portugal bounced back from the USA defeat with a resounding 4-0 win over Poland. A hat-trick from Pauleta and a goal from sub Rui Costa were enough to wipe out the memory of the nightmare first game in the group. Portugal must now beat South Korea in the last game to be sure of going through to the next phase. They can draw, but the USA would need to lose against Poland. (See Comment)
Portugal play Poland Monday in their second group game. It's a vital match for both teams; neither has a point yet. Portugal lost 0-1 to Poland in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
Abel Xavier returned to full training Sunday. Paulo Sousa is still training apart.
Coach António Oliveira is 50 on Monday. Parabéns! Asked by journalists if his job was at risk, he replied: "At risk, why?. I have a contract until 2004." (A Bola On -line)
Polish coach Jerzy Engel has vowed to cut off his moustache is his team beat Portugal.
Luís Figo was confronted today with the 'news' that he will be playing for Inter next season. (See Transfer News)
The Prime-Minister, Durão Barroso, sent coach António Oliveira a good-luck telegram Saturday.
Central defender Jorge Andrade ahead of the Poland game (See Quotes)
Dialogue in a café:
Vítor Baía: Can I have a cheese sandwich please?
Employee: Here you are, sir.
VB: Thanks. Whoops ... er, sorry, can I have another one - I've dropped it.
(A Bola )
During training Friday, Fréchaut, Paulo Bento and Capucho replaced Beto, Rui Costa and João Pinto in the team that looks like it might take the fils from the start Monday against Poland. Training. (A Bola)
Injured players Paulo Sousa and Abel Xavier are ready to return to full training, but they are not likely to be involved in Monday's game with Poland. "I've been recovering well but I don't want to run the risk of having a relapse and not being able to play in the World Cup," said the Liverpool full-back.
More reactions to the USA game at Quotes
Coach António Oliveira had the players together on the training ground for 50 minutes Thursday picking over the causes and solutions Wednesday's disastrous performance and result.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese Football Federation president, Gilberto Madaíl, said Thursday that there was still hope for Portugal's qualification to the knock out stage. (See Quotes)
(See Quotes for reactions to Wednesday's defeat to the USA.)
The President of the Republic, Jorge Sampaio, has sent a message of encouragement to the Squad. In it he says: "Dear Friends, Think of everything that happened as an unhappy moment that, I'm sure, you will be able to overcome. We are with you in the good but especially in the bad moments." (infordesporto)
Portugal got off to the worst possible start Wednesday when they went down 2-3 to an organised USA side. They were 0-3 down inside the first half-hour, goals coming from O'Brien , Jorge Costa (OG) and McBride. Beto managed to pull one back before half-time and an own goal by Agoos midway threough the second half gave the Portuguese some hope that a comeback was possible, but the hopes dissolved as the time wore on and Portugal finished a demoralised and well-beaten side. (See: Comment)
Luís Figo was spared the practice match in training Sunday and just jogged in what is believed to be a precautionary measure ahead of Wednesday's first group game against the USA. Abel Xavier (torn left thigh muscle) is still not training, and Paulo Sousa (pulled right thigh muscle) is only jogging. Neither will be fit for the USA. (infordesporto)
A survey run by website infordesporto , with almost 7,000 replies, shows that 92% of the respondents believe that Portugal will win the game. 33% believe that the first goal will be scored by Pauleta. 21% think it will be Nuno Gomes. "We know we're favourites but we have to prove it on the pitch. We can only beat the USA if we work and run more than them," said the Fiorentina striker. (A Bola On-line)
There is a doubt as to whether António Oliveira will use two strikers for the USA. He did in the second half against China, and the tactic worked well. If he uses only one, that one is likely to be Pauleta .
Returning to the survey, 50% believe that Ricardo will be between the posts for that game, 47% that it will be Vítor Baía. It's the most competitive position in the side: Ricardo was almost ever-present in the qualification and preparation games, while Baía played and played well in the recent friendly against China. "Physically and mentally I'm pretty good," he said. ( infordesporto)
Liverpool defender Abel Xavier is out for eight to ten days with a thigh injury, according to squad doctor Henrique Jones. This will mean that he misses the games against the USA and Poland. (infordesporto)
Sporting's young midfielder Hugo Viana has finally joined in with full training after arriving late to the squad, replacing Daniel Kenedy. This was on the same day that reports arrived of the interest of English Premiership club Chelsea in his services. (A Bola On-line)
There was a special visitor for Os Tugas Friday: newly-elected President of East Timor/ Lorosae Xanana Gusmão: "I hope Portugal win the World Cup, which would bring great joy to the Timorese people, who very much admire and appreciate the Portuguese squad." Mr. Gusmão is a confessed Benfiquista.
The Portuguese squad (Os Tugas ) have landed in Seoul after a period of acclimatisation in Macau. The last training session in Macau had Hugo Viana training apart (he arrived late as a replacement for disgraced Daniel Kenedy - see below), Paulo Sousa not training at all because of a leg injury and Abel Xavier and Sérgio Conceição stopping early because of knocks.
Os Tugas will be staying in the luxurious Ritz-Carlton, 30 kms from the centre of Seoul. They will be training at the Seoul Military Academy.
Rui Costa: "The injuries I suffered are behind me now."
Fernando Couto : "We're off to seoul now, and the anxiety starts to mount."
João Pinto : "But within this anxiety there's a certain tranquility."
Nuno Gomes: "We're eager to start the tournament!"
Meanwhile, Figo and Rui Costa have been 'selected' to be a part of the 25-man 'Anti-Tobacco Team', devised by the European Commisssion to tie in with the World Day Without Tobacco, May 31st..
( A Bola-On-line/ infordesporto)
After a scan on a leg injury, Paulo Sousa has been passed fit to play in the World Cup and will thus stay on with the squad; Stuttgart's Fernando Meira had been on standby in case the Español midfielder did not recover from a knock he took in the friendly against China Saturday. (infordesporto)
According to a survey run by Portuguese website infordesporto, to which 2,500 visitors responded, 92% believe that Portugal will win their opening game against the USA, 33% think that Pauleta will score the first goal and 51% want Ricardo to be the first choice goalkeeper. (infordesporto)
Midfielder Petit, injured in the game against China Saturday, will be fit to play in Portugal's first game against the USA on June 5th after his back problem proved less serious than feared. The same may not be the case for Paulo Sousa, injured in the same game, who will have a scan of a thigh injury Tuesday. If he is deemed unfit, coach António Oliveira will ask FIFA for permission to replace him. (A Bola On-line)
Portugal beat China 2-0 in Macau Saturday in the last preparation game before the World Cup begins. Os Tugas played mainly their second string in the first half and struggled to make headway against a well organised China, but they could have gone ahead on 25 minutes: Marco Caneira was brought down in the box, but Rui Costa allowed Jiang Jin to save the penalty.
In the second they brought out the big guns and more or less controlled proceedings. On 51 minutes, Rui Costa combined with João Pinto on the left. The Sporting forward took the ball to the line and crossed for a simple nod-in by Nuno Gomes from close range. Ten minutes later, the game was done and dusted when Sérgio Conceição curled a cross in from deep on the right and Pauleta just had to guide the ball in.
Coach António Oliveira will be very pleased with his experiments. All the players got a run out bar the ´keeper Ricardo and midfielder Hugo Viana, who hasn't yet arrived from Portugal. He will be most pleased with the performance of Rui Costa, who managed 75 minutes although he faded at the end, and the rest of the second half line-up, the probable first-choice for the real thing next week.
Starting line-up (subsititutes in brackets): Vítor Baía (Nélson), Abel Xavier (Fréchaut), Beto (Fernando Couto), Jorge Andrade (Jorge Costa), Caneira Rui Jorge), Paulo Bento (Pauleta), Paulo Sousa (Petit), Rui Costa (Figo), Pedro Barbosa (João Pinto), Capucho (Sérgio Conceição), Nuno Gomes
How they played:
Vítor Baía: A good game from the team captain. A double save especially in the first half saved a goal. Less good on crosses, using punches that put pressure back on the team.
Abel Xavier : Closed the right flank down well, but didn't advance much.
Beto : Cool with the ball in front of him, less effective with crosses.
Jorge Andrade: Ditto Beto. A couple of good pushes forward.
Caneira : Very confident. Closed his flank well and found spaces further forward. Broke into the penalty area to win a penalty on 25 minutes.
Paulo Bento : Extremely effective on the ball, rarely putting a pass wrong. Tactically sound, closing down spaces in front of the back four.
Paulo Sousa: Won some important balls in the middle, but also misplaced some passes and looked slow. Retired injured five minutes before half-time.
Pedro Barbosa: The least effective of all the players. Slow and excessively greedy.
Rui Costa : Held out for 75 minutes, although fading at the end. Constructed some good positions but missed a penalty.
Capucho: Hugged the right touchline and did some good wide interchanges, but rarely made the line.
Nuno Gomes: Untiring effort. More effective when Pauleta came on to give him more space. Scored a simple headed goal on 51 minutes.
Nélson : Came on in the last five minutes. Nothing of note.
Fréchaut: Very comfortable on the ball and good interchanges on the right. Left a little exposed behind him by his advances.
Fernando Couto : Dominant and coll with theball on the ground.
Jorge Costa : Ditto F. Couto.
Rui Jorge: A quiet half; most of the play went down the right.
Petit: Tireless covering and poisonous in the tackle. Priceless support for Rui Costa. Injured after a nasty fall in the dying minutes. He will be sorely missed if it proves serious.
João Pinto: Hugged the left touchline. A brilliant combination with Rui Costa in 51 minutes and a cross for Nuno Gomes to score. A mirror image of what he's been doing all year for Mário Jardel.
Figo: Still recovering from injury, so only the last 15 minutes, more to give the 18,000 crowd a chance to see him than to make any useful experiment. Middle and left. Nothing much of note.
Sérgio Conceição: The best element in the attack. He caused many problems for the Chinese on the right flank. Strong and quick. Crossed for Paulata to score on 61.
Pauleta: A well-taken goal, and one disallowed for off-side on 63. But also a little clumsy at times when opportunites presented themselves. Worked well with Nuno Gomes, both creating space for each other.
Portugal play China Saturday in the last preparation game before the World Cup starts in a week's time. The game is to be televised in Portugal at 12.45 Portuguese time on independent channel SIC. However, to enable emigrants to see the game, RTP International and RTP Africa will also show the game.
António Oliveira is not expected to play Figo or Rui Costa , both still recovering from injuries. "This is not a lack of respect for China, but it is after all just a preparation game," the coach said.
The game is to be played at the Estádio da Taipa in Macau, which will be full with 18,000 spectators. 250 journalists of various types will be present. It will be up to them to vote for the man-of-the-match, who will reccive $10,000.
Figo told the official FIFA site: "Not getting past the first phase would be abject failure ... We want to get to the final, but we're going to take it one step at a time."
(news 25/05/02 - infordesporto)
The situation became clearer Wednesday over the Kenedy affair. The drug that was the culprit was 'furosemide', used to help athletes to lose weight. Kenedy had a weight problem during the close season last year and was prescribed the drug, which he used to reduce his weight ahead of this last season. However, he apparently kept some capsules back and began using them again at the beginning of this close season .. only he was then called up for international duty. Furosemide can be used to mask the use of other, more performance-enhancing drugs, which is why it's on the FIFA banned list. The amount detected in the test on Kenedy was minute, but enough to remove him from the squad.
The player called up to replace Kenedy, Sporting's Hugo Viana, was at once thrilled and reticent about the news: "I'm happy and at the same time sad for Kenedy", he said. On theother hand, the President of the Regional Government of Madeira, João Alberto Jardim, had this to say about the situation: "We all know the state that Portuguese footbal is in, and the processes are nothing new to me ... There could be an agent wanting another player there." He told journalists to investigate well who the agents were for Vítor Baía, Paulo Sousa and Hugo Viana. Kenedy's club, Marítimo, are the biggest in Madeira. (infordesporto)
The first scandal of the World Cup: Marítimo's Daniel Kenedy is to be sent home after failing an internal doping test. The left-sided player, 28, admitted that he had taken pills to keep his weight down. Kenedy's substitute is to be Sporting's Hugo Viana, who will become, at 19, the youngest ever Portuguese player to figure in the final stages of the World Cup (previously Paulo Futre in Mexico, 1986). (A Bola On-line)
Luís Figo missed training with the squad Monday; he was at the hospital in Macau undergoing medical tests.
Figo stayed in the hotel gym for Sunday's second training session to continue with the recuperation of his ankle injury. "I don't want the injury to become a problem of State," he said.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) announced the bonus it will offer the squad should they win the competition: between four and five million euros (£2.4-£3m). The FPF would receive up to eight million euros (£4.8m) from FIFA if Portugal won (infordesporto).
The National Team left Lisbon's Portela Airport Friday headed for former colony Macau, where they will spend some time acclimatising to the humid conditions they can expect in Korea. There were about three hundred well-wishers to see them off at the airport. The players were each given a sunflower as they left the team coach