Fluminense could avoid relegation
Fluminense may avoid relegation in the Brazilian league because
another team allegedly used a suspended player in the competition’s
Brazil’s sports tribunal on Wednesday will analyze a complaint
that Portuguesa breached rules, which could cost the team four
points and allow Fluminense to stay in the first division.
Fluminense ended the tournament as the first team inside the
relegation zone, but would surpass Portuguesa in the 20-team
standings if the points are docked.
Fluminense won its last match on Sunday but that was not enough
to avoid becoming the first defending Brazilian champion to be
demoted to the second division. Four-time Brazilian champion Vasco
da Gama also was relegated, but it would not benefit from
The Brazilian football federation said Portuguesa should not
have used midfielder Heverton in the match against Gremio on
Sunday. The player had been suspended for two matches, but
apparently Portuguesa was mistakenly advised by one of its lawyers
that it was a one-game suspension.
Portuguesa vice president Roberto dos Santos admitted to local
media on Tuesday that the lawyer might have mistakenly given the
club the wrong information.
”We are on the first flight to Rio to request a copy of the
trial’s tape from the Brazilian federation to find out what really
happened,” he said.
It would not be the first time Fluminense benefited from an
off-the-field ruling to avoid relegation. The Rio de Janeiro club
was relegated for the first time in 1997 and then dropped to the
third flight the following year, but a change in the competition’s
format at the time allowed Fluminense to move straight into the
first division in 2000.
The tribunal also said Brazilian Cup champion Flamengo may also
lose points because of an alleged irregular use of left back Andre
Santos. That could drop the country’s most popular club to the
first spot outside of relegation zone. That punishment could be
significant because Vasco da Gama is trying to annul its 5-1 loss
against Atletico Paranaense. The referee stopped the game after 73
minutes due to fan violence.
The tribunal has said it is unlikely the result will be
overturned but if it is, Vasco will have enough points to avoid
relegation and that could send Flamengo down.