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Within days of the scandalous Paulistão final against Corinthians, Palmeiras were in possession of video footage showing Director of Refereeing of the São Paulo Football Federation (FPF) twice approaching one of the assistant referees by the sideline. This takes place while the main referee is on the pitch, trying to put into effect his decision to award Palmeiras a penalty. Shortly after, as we all now, the referee changed his ruling.

According to regulations, the Director of Refereeing, in this case Mr. Dionísio Roberto Domingos, is not allowed to enter the grounds while a match is taking place, much less address any of the referees.

Based on the video and the initial, unconvincing statements from the involved, Palmeiras’ legal department last week filed a request for the initiation of an investigation at the São Paulo Court of Justice for Sports (TJD-SP). A first hearing took place Tuesday, lasting eight hours, with statements from the five referees, the Refereeing Supervisor and the Director of Refereeing – the individual Palmeiras accuse as pivotal in bringing about the external interference.
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From last Tuesday’s hearing at the TJD-SP (photo credits: Tossiro Neto)

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Palmeiras are going all in. So much, the club has reinforced its team with a renowned criminal lawyer, Mr. José Luis Oliveira Lima. In addition, Palmeiras have hired the services of Kroll, one of the largest private investigation companies in the world, with headquarters in the USA and branches in some 30 countries, including Brazil. Though neither Palmeiras nor Kroll will comment, at least two Kroll representatives were present at the TJD hearing earlier this week, in addition to Mr Lima and Palmeiras’ regular lawyers. Kroll will present an independent analysis of events leading up to the reverted ruling on the pitch.

The TJD judge assigned to the case is expected to present his report by Monday 23rd April. Based on the report, a prosecutor and the Court president will then determine whether to put the case to the archives or de facto initiate proceeding, which could end up formally cancelling the final.

Mr. Lima spells it out. “Palmeiras want to lay out the truth of the matter. If that truth entails showing the Courts that there were external interference and that the match must be invalidated, then that is what Palmeiras will do. After all, it is in the regulations of the competition”.

On a side note, it has been gratifying to see how Palmeiras supporters have expressed their support for the club’s chosen route: not because of the Paulista title itself, but for the good of Brazilian football. However clear the evidence of external interference, the odds are not in Palmeiras’ favour and Palmeiras are likely to suffer direct and indirect consequences. Then again, there is the possibility that this is a turning point. That Palmeiras will act as a catalyst for substantial change. Hope never dies.

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Palmeiras President Maurício Galiotte

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In light of Sunday’s debacle, Palmeiras yesterday night published an open letter to the club’s supporters. The letter reads [in an unofficial translation]:

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The Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras understands that the institution and its supporters suffered hard and irreparable damage by the disastrous, incompetent and irregular performance put out by the referees responsible for last Sunday’s game between Palmeiras and Corinthians.

In violation of the rulebook, there was clear and evident external interference in the arbitration, as indisputably proven by the images. As a response to this, in the name of integrity and transparency during games, Palmeiras understands it is non-negotiable that the following measures be adopted by the Paulista Football Federation:

1. Implementation of the Video Assistant Referee for all matches of the São Paulo Championship as of 2019;

2. Creation of a recording system, allowing for the disclosure, when necessary, of all communication between referees during the game;

3. Careful reassessment of the directors of the Referees Department of the Paulista Football Federation, as well as a more rigorous evaluation of those in charge of the matches.

Until there is an official signal coming from the Paulista Football Federation that these transparency measures will be adopted, Palmeiras’ relations with the Federation remain suspended.

On the pitch, Palmeiras consider last Sunday’s game a regrettable page now turned. There are other competitions ahead of us and we will make our outmost efforts to achieve them. The Palmeiras supporter is key in this process and his acknowledged involvement will be even more important.

Avanti Palestra!

Regards,

SOCIEDADE ESPORTIVA PALMEIRAS
Maurício Precivalle Galiotte
President

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Palmeiras are using strong language. If the club will be able to withstand the pressure and/or provoke change, only time will tell.

Brazilian football is facing a crisis, Sunday’s events nothing but the tip of the iceberg. Primary culprits have been named before. Extremely badly managed, non-transparent, biased, elitist, with poor refereeing (at best), and overall low levels of stadium attendance. The football federations, the confederation and Rede Globo are putting out a sad product, selling it as top notch to sponsors. Possibly these sponsors would be more concerned about the quality of the product they associate their brands with, should they face rejection among football lovers.

For your information, a list of brands sponsoring main championships and/or transmissions:

Rede Globo
Banco Itaú, Brahma, Chevrolet, Hypermarcas, Unilever, Vivo

Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF)
Cimed, English Live, Gol, Guaraná Antártica Nike, Itaú, Mastercard, Ultrafarma, Universidade Brasil, Vivo

Paulista Football Federation (FPF)
Bet 90, Canon, Gafisa, Itaipava, Kappa, Penalty, Sky

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Unfortunately, this match review is less about football and more about external interference that decided the final of Brazil’s most prestigious state championship.
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A giant mosaic covered the whole stadium (photo credits: Augusto Oazi)

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Backed by 41.227 supporters (new Allianz Parque attendance record), Palmeiras allowed Corinthians a start they wouldn’t even dream of: a goal to equalize the aggregated scorecard already in the first minute. Matheus Vital slipped through Marcos Rocha and Antônio Carlos to pass the ball behind to Rodriguinho; the shot would have been easily saved by Jailson had it not deflected off Victor Luiz.

After the early goal, the game evolved as expected, Palmeiras exercising superior ball possession but at large being blocked by Corinthians’ defensive line. The team in black and white basically parked the bus, waiting for that opportunity to counter-attack.

Palmeiras did not create that many opportunities during the game, but in the 26th minute of the second half, Dudu received a heavy challenge from Ralf inside the box and went down, well-positioned referee Marcelo Aparecido de Souza without hesitation awarding the penalty. Dudu took the ball and placed it on the 9-meter mark, but as the referee continued aggressively surrounded by Corinthians players, play did not resume. This went on for almost two minutes, de Souza fencing off Corinthians players and handing out a yellow card. Enough time for the fifth referee, who had been positioned at the other side of the pitch completely, jog over to the fourth referee, say something, and the fourth referee approach de Souza with what could only have been fresh info based on camera reviews: Ralf might have touched the ball before clipping Dudu, there might be room for interpretation, there might not have been a penalty. The referee looked ready to change his mind, now with all Palmeiras players ventilating their frustration. In vain, we learnt. The confusion lasted for a total of eight minutes, no penalty awarded, the external influence crucially changing the game’s outcome. Need I mention de Souza’s refereeing career was hanging on a thread there?

In the remaining 20 or so minutes, Palmeiras tried their best, coming close with a free kick just wide from Marcos Rocha and a header from Thiago Santos. Also Corinthians had an opportunity with Sidcley, driving the ball not far from Jailson’s left post.

In the penalty shootout that followed, our players were clearly frustrated, and more nervous than Corinthians’. Cássio saved the shots from Dudu and Lucas Lima, our first and third kickers respectively. Victor Luiz, Marcos Rocha and Moisés scored for Palmeiras. Corinthians missed only one penalty, the fourth, Fagner sending the ball to the stands. Below, a first video with the highlights, and a second, with the eight minutes culminating in the external interference.
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After the game, Palmeiras president Maurício Galiotte did not spare his criticism. “Shameful” was the word, repeated over and over again. Galiotte informed no Palmeiras representative would be present at today’s closing ceremony of the championship at the Paulista Football Federation.

As palmeirenses and lovers of football, yours respectfully hope, with all sincerity, that president Galiotte and Palmeiras transform words into action, sparing no effort to protect the club and the sport against biased and harmful practices that stain Brazilian football at an accelerated pace. What happened yesterday is the mirroring of Brazil, where impunity reigns and the powerful do as they please. Overwhelming as the task may seem, we believe we speak for an absolute majority of Palmeiras supporters when we say we are ready, come what might. There needs to be change.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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by Augusto Anteghini Oazi and Kristian Bengtson

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Ahead of tomorrow’s Paulistão final, Palmeiras this morning opened up the Allianz Parque, inviting supporters to accompany the last training session before the derby. With some 31.500 spectators of all ages and social classes present, the stadium pulsated in an impressing display of passion and union. The event also rendered close to 40 tonnes of food products, collected for distribution to the needing.

What a jackpot, Palmeiras, on so many levels!

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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Many this morning had the first opportunity of their lives to visit the Allianz Parque.

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PUMA Brazil president Fabio Espejo and Palmeiras president Marcelo Gagliotti officialising partnership (photo credit: Fábio Menotti/Ag.Palmeiras)

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As you learnt from here a little over a month ago, PUMA will be Palmeiras’ provider of sporting equipment as of 2019. The contract runs over three years and was officially announced today. Between fixed and royalty-based revenues, Palmeiras expect to receive an approximate R$ 25 million (US$ 7,5 million) yearly from the deal, which is a 25% increase compared to the current Adidas partnership.

In addition to increased revenues, a few other aspects of the PUMA partnership stand out, such as:

# Kits ready available during the Brazilian pre-season (not as now, only at the start of the Brazilian championship in mid-April);
# Palmeiras the only Brazilian club sponsored by PUMA during the length of the contract;
# A “Team Palmeiras” set up at PUMA, attending exclusively to the club’s needs;
# Palmeiras gear available at PUMA stores worldwide.

A big, hearty welcome to PUMA. Rest assured you will never encounter a more faithful consumer than the Palmeiras supporter. Treat us right, and you’re in for quite a ride!

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!

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Although still in what almost could be considered pre-season (were it not for the Libertadores Cup), things are starting to get serious. Palmeiras already know what awaits in the quarter-finals of the São Paulo Championship: Novorizontino, who yesterday beat Santos 2-1 to secure their spot.

Today’s penultimate game for Palmeiras in the group stage of the Paulistão has a special flavour: the 100th game at the Allianz Parque, and against arch-enemy São Paulo FC. 32 thousand tickets had been sold by yesterday evening. If Roger Machado wants some peace and tranquillity, he’d better make sure Palmeiras turn out a convincing performance tonight, erasing the perception of a stale and uninterested squad of last few rounds.

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A brief update on players currently in the Medical department:

Edu Dracena has not yet made his debut in 2018. On a specially tailored programme in order to reduce muscular injuries throughout the season, the 36-year-old felt discomfort to the hip last week during training. With nothing but a minor inflammation to a tendon, Dracena should be at Roger’ disposal by next week.

Deyverson suffered an almost identical injury to that of Neymar, in the fifth metatarsal of the right foot, and underwent surgery. The forward is in his sixth week of recovery, with another expected two weeks before ready to initiate physical reconditioning on the pitch.

Diogo Barbosa seriously twisted his ankle in mid-January, during a pre-season friendly game. The left-defender is clinically cured, but not yet ready to play, as he lost considerable muscle mass due to the period of immobilization. In the coming days he’ll start training on the pitch.

Mayke twisted his right ankle during a training session last week, suffering a ligament injury. He will not need surgery, but with recovery expected to take between four to six weeks, he has been cut from the São Paulo Championship roster.

Jean went under the knife on 11 January, in an effort to minimize effects of wear and tear to the cartilage of his right knee. He is about to complete two months of treatment, with the recovery period ranging from three to four months, effectively keeping him out of the Paulistão and also (at least the first stage of) the Libertadores Cup.

Artur operated his right ankle on 16 February. The young forward initiated physiotherapy this week and should be recovered in little more than a month.

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While on the topic of players: forward Dudu has extended his contract with another two years, now valid until end of 2022. Earlier this year, the 26-year-old turned down a very lucrative offer from China. With the extension cames a salary adjustment, as well as a bumped up early termination fee.

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A whopping six (6) Palmeiras players have been called up for the Brazilian U16 squad to compete in the upcoming Montaigu tournament in France. In addition, striker Fabrício was called up for the U17 squad, playing two friendlies against England at the end of the month.

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Rounding things off with a sight for sore eyes: Phil Collins and Foo Fighters recently did sold-out gigs at the Allianz Parque and, of course, received Palmeiras jerseys up front. Just one more reason for becoming a superstar.

Scoppia che la vittoria è nostra!
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It was a closer call than one would perhaps imagine, Topper in it until the very end, but PUMA stepped up their offer and, as expected, are Palmeiras’ new provider of kits as of 2019. The deal was sealed yesterday night and is valid for a so far undisclosed number of seasons. With this, in December, Palmeiras’ twelve-year-long partnership with Adidas comes to an end.

In regard to the current arrangement with Adidas, the PUMA deal entails a 20% raise in fixed revenues, from roughly R$ 10 million to R$ 12 million (US$ 3,1 million to US$ 3,7 million), in addition to royalties based on sales and performance bonuses. In Brazil, PUMA will exclusively sponsor S.E. Palmeiras. All dealings regarding the partnership, from development to distribution, has PUMA Brazil as counterpart, with the company HQ in Germany’s approval.

PUMA came close in 2014, but Palmeiras opted to renew with Adidas, in spite of the partnership showing clear signals of fatigue. Today’s breaking news are certain to excite most Palmeiras supporters, while simultaneously installing a bit of performance anxiety: after all, PUMA are known for their tight fits. Heading to the gym in 3… 2… 1…
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