Wednesday, July 16, 2008

UEFA's Convictions Are As Steadfast As Cristiano Ronaldo's

Once again UEFA has proven that it is unable to truly regulate clubs and hold them accountable for their chosen course of action. UEFA has denied Portuguese club Benfica's appeal of UEFA's reversal of FC Porto's Champions League ban. Rather than focus on a ban in the future that harms a club that is currently fundamentally different than the offending club, in that the manager and players are different, UEFA should focus on a penalty that strikes where it really hurts--Porto's history and pocketbook.

In June this year, UEFA determined that Porto had forfeited its Champions League berth next season due to its involvement in a referee bribing scandal in the 2003-04 season--the year Porto won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho. Porto had successfully appealed the ban with UEFA determining an additional hearing was needed, despite Porto's conviction in the Portuguese courts of bribing referees.

All of this leads to the conclusion that UEFA's disciplinary are is feckless and powerless. One of the most storied Portuguese soccer clubs was convicted in a court of the country of bribing referees but UEFA can't enforce a simple punishment. Presumably the standards of conviction are a bit higher in the court than UEFA, but the organization needs a further hearing to determine if the club was involved in this scandal. It should be a simple case..."Your honor I present the conviction of FC Porto in court and the prosecution rests." Tweet. Tweet. Tweet. Ban upheld.

Of course, that's not how it works in nepotic UEFA, where politics and money outweigh any sense of justice. Remember way back to 2006 when AC Milan was allowed back into the CL after being found complicit in the Italian match fixing scandal? Yeah. Back then UEFA said it regretted that it's rules did not permit it to uphold AC Milan's ban but would change its rules so this could not happen in the future. Well, I remember it, but I'm not sure UEFA does because its rules still reveal a true disciplinary dunce.

Why not just strip the club of one of its most prestigious titles? Forfeit the 2003-04 title it won during the season for which it was convicted of bribing referees. Disgorge any profits Porto earned from its Champions League victories in 2003-04. That would be a fitting punishment for the bad acts of that season, with the added benefit of upsetting Jose Mourinho.


Mike Georger said...

keeping them out of the champions league this year would cost them like 20 million pounds at least. if the actual players from back then werent involved in the bribery when it happened the argument of stripping the past titles so that you dont hurt the present players is flawed, becausae youre still hurting players that were innocent. you need to hurt the club the most and the best way to do that would be to hurt their income for this year. and if the players get hurt, tough titties, you can always do what the juventus players did and jump ship.

The Fan's Attic said...

ah...but to disgorge profits is much harder on the team than to forego future earnings. they would have to come up with a significant sum of money and quick. much more damaging in my mind.

plus, the players at Porto during the time of ref bribing cannot be exonerated nor can the manager. the punishment should be levied against the 2003-04 squad. we don't know if the ref bribing affected the team's victories but it certainly would have affected the 2003-04 squad more than the current squad.

finally, i'd like to see Mourinho lose his title. Then he would have fuck all to for the two PL titles Abramovich bought for him.

Mike Georger said...

"would have to come up with a significant sum of money and quick"

the 20 mil they get for qualifying for the group stages of the champions league would cover that theyll be getting that pretty soon

personally i think they should be stripped of the titles and be banned from this years champions league. and fuck it, emanuel was on that 04 team and is their captain now, theres a connection enough to punish the current team.

The Fan's Attic said...

i wouldn't oppose penalties for 2003-04 and the present. but, i assume the amount of money won in 2003-04 would exceed any qualifying money this year.