Not that anyone really expected that Palmeiras would get a rematch against Internacional, forcing the Brazilian Football Federation CBF to abide by FIFA regulations. Still, the massive opposition from the Brazilian Superior Tribunal for Sports experienced this morning was rather overwhelming, if not humiliating. Palmeiras had evidence ready – including statements from lip readers – but these were denied by the Tribunal. Another setback was the absence of journalist Taynah Espinoza from TV Bandeirantes, the one who asserted that the CBF representative Gérson Baluta indeed checked with journalists before passing the word on to the fourth referee who in turn proceeded to have Barcos’ goal disallowed. Curiously enough, Mrs Espinoza did not receive permission from her employer to appear before the Tribunal.
In the end, it was word against word. And the judges of the STJD explicitly declared they had no reason to doubt the honour of the referees or CBF representative Baluta. On the contrary: wouldn’t it be absurd if these gentlemen all came before the Tribunal and lied? End of story.
In any serious country, the Football Federation would have conducted their own, independent investigation. In any serious country (and of course provided that external interference had been proven), not only would the match be rescheduled but the fourth referee and the CBF representative severely punished to set an example.
The pictures from the spectacle were snatched from the STJD online live coverage. What a circus.