This afternoon the almighty Brazilian Superior Tribunal of Sports (STJD) fined Palmeiras US$ 20.000 for the vandalism – which included a few object thrown onto the pitch – that took place at the Pacaembu during and after the derby against Corinthians a couple of weeks back. Worse, the STJD also ruled that Palmeiras will have to host four home games (against Coritiba, Cruzeiro, Botafogo and Fluminense) at least 100 clicks from the capital. Two options seem most likely: the Fonte Luminosa stadium in Araraquara (288km far) and the Santa Cruz stadium in Ribeirão Preto (336km far). This is all very unfortunate, as supporters were finally having games played in the capital and were showing up in excellent numbers.
In the same ruling Luan was punished with a three-games suspension (due to the red card he received in the derby).
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A lot of the rage exposed during the abovementioned game was mostly aimed at Palmeiras’ directors. A smaller group evens did some damage to vice-president Frizzo’s restaurant a few hours after the final blow of the whistle. Ever since, both president Tirone and vice-president Frizzo have been keeping a low profile (kindly speaking) but Frizzo gave an interview the other day, again missing out on a great opportunity to stay quiet.
I don’t feel I have any blame in what’s happening. I’m working as normal, like I’ve always done. If it didn’t turn out right, it was the team [the team’s fault, my clarification], not Frizzo. I have consciousness of what I’m doing, and because of that, I would never resign at this moment. I was part of the group that was champion in the Brazil Cup. One can’t think that now, everything is wrong.
Seems like Frizzo believes he can have the best of two worlds, much like private financial institutions that pocket the profit only to be bailed out by governments (i.e. us taxpayers) in times of crises. When Palmeiras win, Frizzo claims his part of the glory; when Palmeiras lose, it’s the player’s fault. Nice. No wonder some people think smashing up his restaurant sounds like a good idea.
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Just because things are chronically bad at Palmeiras, at least politically and administratively speaking, one mustn’t believe everything one reads. A certain journalist recently published that Palmeiras’ directors had decided on not giving players any kind of bonus in case Palmeiras escape relegation. This is an outright lie: in fact, leaders of the squad took the initiative and approached the directors and informed them that they would not accept any bonuses and that right now the last thing on their minds is money. A display of dignity from the squad. And one more example of bad journalism, bordering on the criminal.
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Speaking of dignifying: Luiz Felipe Scolari was in Brasilia the other day to meet with the Minister of Sports Aldo Rebelo – a palmeirense body and soul. This time however, the topic was not our Verdão but an invitation by Rebelo for Scolari to promote certain events and activities by the Ministry on a volunteer basis. Big Phil not only accepted, as gave his first interview after having left Palmeiras.
“I believe it was the right moment for me exiting Palmeiras and somebody with capacity and possibility for professional growth – as Gilson Kleina – to take over”, Scolari stated. “It was the right path, both for me and for Palmeiras, and the best thing that could have happened”. On the victory against Figueirense, has said that he “watched, cheered and liked the game”, praising Kleina’s debut and approving of the spirit that the squad was showing.
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Indeed the spirit is good in the squad, with players smiling and joking during training sessions. Our striker Barcos has yet one more reason to smile as he was yesterday once again called up to join the Argentine national squad, this time against Uruguay and Chile, 12 and 16 of October. Playing in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers is of course great news for Barcos. For Palmeiras, not as great: our main striker will guaranteed be absent against Coritiba and Náutico, very likely also against Bahia. Crucial matches and crucial points on the line.
On the other hand, it does us no good worrying about Barcos and the future: there is one opponent and only one game to worry about: tomorrow’s clash with coach Kleina’s former club Ponte Preta. Three points in the bag and Palmeiras will be breathing down the neck of the 2-3 teams closest to the relegation zone.