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Earlier this week, the Brazilian Football Federation announced that six of Palmeiras’ home games in the first half of the 2012 Brazilian Championship will be played in the city of Barueri, in the outskirts of the metropolitan area of São Paulo. According to CBF, the decision was based on a request coming from the club itself. Four of the six games are against traditional and strong teams, including two derbies. Below, the games affected by the change:

17/06 – Palmeiras x Vasco (16:00)
01/07 – Palmeiras x Figueirense (18:30)
15/07 – Palmeiras x São Paulo (18:30)
22/07 – Palmeiras x Náutico (16:00)
04/08 – Palmeiras x Internacional (18:30)
25/08 – Palmeiras x Santos (18:30)

Barueri is located some 30 km far from the city of São Paulo and public transport is precarious, especially at night. Going by car is not a cheap option when considering gas, tolls and other expenses (just parking your wheels will set you back US$ 20). What could possibly justify not using the available municipal stadium Pacaembu, in the centre of the city of São Paulo, but instead the Barueri stadium?

It essentially boils down to Scolari “not liking” the Pacaembu stadium, considering it too closely linked with other teams (especially Corinthians) and the originator of bad vibes and bad luck. Scolari claims not only he but also the players dislike the municipal stadium.

I will at this point provide you with a direct translation of a text that Rodrigo Barneschi of the Forza Palestra blog first published in 2010:

“Palmeiras are a club from the city of São Paulo. The city of São Paulo has a municipal stadium, the Pacaembu.  Palmeiras are the team which most times have been crowned champion at the Pacaembu, even though being in possession of a stadium of their own. Palmeiras were the team that inaugurated the municipal stadium, beating Coritiba 6-2. One of the most glorious episodes in the history of Palmeiras – the “Arrancada Heróica”  [the “Heroic Charge” of 20 September 1942 when a Leader died and a Champion was born – my clarification] – took place at the Pacaembu.“

Personally, I’m not particularly affected by the change of stadiums (although I do have plane tickets for myself and a friend to assist the derby on 15 July and am now in a bit of a limbo) but I’m completely outraged by the lack of respect for Palmeiras’ history and for the hard core of supporters who honour their commitment of attending each and every home game – supporters that are now forced to travel to another city to attend 60 per cent of their team’s “home” games.

Scolari doesn’t like the Pacaembu? Since when should extremely well paid coaches dictate how and where the team he works for should play? Since when is it allowed to brush decades, almost a century of history and tradition aside in the name of superstition and personal preferences? Where’s the respect for the supporters in their thousands who make Palmeiras their lives? Again, president Tirone and the directors show a complete lack of spine and direction. Or maybe they just don’t care. Either option is equally plausible and, unfortunately, not mutually excluding.

It’s been said before and it will be repeated: for a kid to become a Palmeiras supporter in this day and age, he/she needs not only a strong personality but quite some stomach.

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Arena Baruari replacing the Canindé stadium
Palmeiras have been using the Canindé stadium – belonging to the Associação Portuguesa de Desportos, or Portuguesa in short – for hosting games while the New Arena is being built. After Saturday’s game against Figueirense, Palmeiras supporters clashed with Portuguesa supporters heading toward the Canindé to commemorate their return to the first division. It’s not clear exactly what happened or how it started, but Portuguesa supporters were reportedly making fun of Palmeiras, predicting the teams relegation to the second division.

After the incident, Palmeiras declared that remaining home games will be played at the Barueri stadium. Renting the Barueri will be cheaper but won’t make supporters happy, as it is located outside the capital of São Paulo.

Atlético Mineiro vs Palmeiras
Tomorrow, Palmeiras confront Atlético Mineiro in Belo Horizonte. Atlético have the same number of points as the first relegated team, but seem to have reached bottom and are now developing in a positive way, having last week beaten Fluminense 2-0 in Rio de Janeiro. Will Palmeiras be able to surprise? If you enjoyed the “Mission Impossible” franchise, tune in tomorrow Sunday at 6pm, Brasilia time. Satisfaction not guaranteed.

Valdivia makes headlines again
El Mago made headlines this week due to the publication of some pictures of him snogging with a woman who isn’t his wife. Snapped in February, the pictures obviously caused damage to our midfielder and his marriage. Very remorseful, he appeared before the press and apologised to his wife and family, in addition to claiming that this has been the worst year in his career but that he feels the support from Scolari and the rest of the squad and that he will do better.

AVANTI PALESTRA…

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