Sonar pings #102 – the smell of rotting ethics

After beating Corinthians 2-0 at the Itaquera, Palmeiras went on to secure another three points against Coritiba at home. Naturally, Palmeiras remain in the lead, as has been the case in 18 out of the 27 rounds so far played. The 28th round got underway yesterday, and as Flamengo only drew with São Paulo, Palmeiras are guaranteed the top spot regardless of tomorrow Monday’s result against Santa Cruz, away. No games are being played in Brazil today, Sunday, due to the municipal elections.


19 rounds in the lead. A strong and numerous squad, giving coach Cuca many options. Nevertheless, it seems as runner-up Flamengo is the team to beat. The press cannot get enough of the “smells like the seventh title” slogan Flamengo supporters recently adopted to describe the team’s campaign.

Observer turned protagonist?

Press describing supporter’s enthusiasm is one thing. Having to put up with certain journalists’ biased opinions is something very different. The illness is spreading like wildfire in Brazilian sports coverage, where infotainment and controversy is the name of the game. It has reached a point where ESPN expert commentator Mauro Cezar Pereira, week after week, tells his audience why Palmeiras are limited and vulnerable – using statistics that he does not apply to other teams, and certainly not the one close to his heart – before last week actually placing a phone call (!) to the Palmeiras coach, laying out what kind of play he would expect from a team of Palmeiras’ calibre.

In addition we have the constant flood of rumours and negative headlines. “Cuca set for China in 2017”. “Rafael Marques and Cuca cause split in squad after locker room argument”. “Palmeiras seek to avoid 2009 campaign, when a championship title already in the bag turned to dust in the last 10 rounds”. “Palmeiras players don’t score with their left foot”. At least, there are some sports journalists openly questioning what the heck is going on, indicating a slight crack in the normally solid corporativism.   

The icing on the cake is called STJD – the Supreme Tribunal of Sports. As you already read here, Palmeiras were heavily punished after ultras clashed in an away game against Flamengo in Brasilia earlier this year: five home games with the North Sector empty and five away games without any ticket rights – the idea here clearly depriving the club of its most powerful ally, it’s supporters. What is the STJD’s ruling after Corinthians ultras fight with the police during the recent derby at the Itaquera? Just a small fine for our rivals.

A few weeks back, during Palmeiras vs. Flamengo at the Allianz Parque, the visiting club’s directors watched the game from a designated box. This setup has never before been the root of any problems, but this time insults flew between supporters below and the visitors, and apparently also some ice cubes. There are plenty of footage showing the visitors laughing and provoking the Palmeiras supporters. After the game, Flamengo filed a complaint with the STJD, seeking a punishment for Palmeiras due to “the clubs inability to provide safety and well-being”, or something along those lines. Do not be surprised if this farce generates another punishment. Palmeiras against all and everyone, as always.

— ooo —

The first leg of the Brazil Cup quarterfinals took place this week, with the following results:

Grêmio 2-1 Palmeiras
Atlético Mineiro 1-0 Juventude
Santos 2-1 Internacional
Corinthians 2-1 Cruzeiro

Due to the away goal, a penalty converted by Zé Roberto after Gabriel Jesus having been clipped inside the box, Palmeiras are very much alive in the competition. The second leg is scheduled for Wednesday 19 October.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!


  1. Hello Christian. I feel all the time that the problem is Palmeiras be ahead of Flamengo in the standings. The problem is not Palmeiras winning the championship, but the preference for Flamengo by the media. I often think it’s just a kind of paranoia and that my passion for Palmeiras makes my judgment be biased. So I try to relativize this (despite all the examples you give above in the text).Do these things occur also in Sweden? Is there this fondness for a club there? Cheers!

    1. Hi Milton. As I haven’t been living in Sweden for the last 18 years, I’m ever more reluctant to talk about “how things are” over there. But as far as I know, journalists in Sweden make the outmost effort to not be biased. I’ve never seen or heard of a sports journalist who angries spectators or readers due to misplaced or biases comments. Not like in Brazil, where who will comment a game already renders expectation or annoyance. Regardless of the situation in Sweden, I feel things have gone well overboard here in Brazil. Very little dialogue, very much personal opinions, much lack of professionalism, in particular in regard to how these professionals deal with social media. Unfortunately, I also feel the trend is worsening.

      Looking forward to your comments. Cheers!

  2. Kris, I think some commentators are too way partial and that is difficult to follow a program that discuss soccer in a serious view. I’ve given up … I’ve been following over blogs and websites that deal specifically with Palmeiras (like yours). But this is not all good because we lose track of the whole thing. What remains is the impression (accurate?) that sports journalism with serious opinions simply does not exist here n Brazil. On the other hand, I doubt whether there is a free-prior-opinion journalism in any field (such as political journalism, for example). There is always a side to like or defend, depending on your personal views

    I do not like the motto “against everything and everyone.” It seems that we are always the victims and I don´t like this discourse of victimization. But this story with Flamengo is too much for me and I agre with you.


    ps; About you living in Sweden, that person most misinformed I am! Sorry!)

    pss: Santa Cruz 1 X Palmeiras 3 (like in the championship´s first leg)

    1. Dear Milton, I’m also against the victimization, but the more I observe, the more I feel there is indeed something underneath the surface, and often right on the surface… It is not easy for Palmeiras, there is so much flak coming from all directions… Now let’s see if we can “dry” Atlético ; ) Cheers!

  3. Hey Christian, incredible lack of profissionalism of our press, they seem to be more supporters than journalists, this is a shame for me as brazilian and makes me feel angry as a Palmeiras supporter. Palmeiras have to beat their opponent on the pitch, the referees, STJD, press including the ones who detain the rights to broadcast the matches. They are paid to be professionals, this seems to be like a war, we against everyone else, SHAME ON YOU BRAZILIAN PRESS, CBF + RGT.

    I read you at least two times per week and for sure you are the best foreigner supporter and writter representing Palmeiras. Thanks for the excellent job!!!

    1. Dear Diego, thank you for taking the time to leave your comments and also for the encouraging words. Indeed, it is, as always, Palestra against all and everything. But this year is ours, and many years to come. Abraço forte and thanks for popping in here so frequently!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s