FC Porto and Benfica started with individual training in their academy centres whilst Sporting continue their recovery plan with conditioning training at their world famous centre at Alcochete.
The Government gave the green light for the return of the championship behind closed doors at stadiums which will have to comply with all the rules of the health authorities.
The decision to abandon all football below the Primeira Liga has caused furore in the third tier Campeonato Portugal.
Last Friday the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) announced that Vizela and Arouca would be ‘promoted’ to the professional Segunda Liga. The FPF claimed that the two clubs achieved the promotion through ‘sporting merit’ having the highest number of points in the four divisions of the championship. This is hotly disputed by the remaining six clubs who would have contested the play-offs.
Lourosa, Olhanense, Real, Praiense, Benfica and Castelo Branco and Fafe said they were, “surprised, through official statement No. 438 issued by the management of the FPF, stating that FC Vizela and FC Arouca will be nominated for the 2nd League”. They went on to state: “this situation totally contradicts what was transmitted to us since the beginning of April by the FPF competition department, which always told us to wait serenely, as the Government and the Directorate-General for Health would shortly announce the start dates of the training sessions, as well as the dates and places where the play-off games would be held”. V
izela 60 points, Arouca 58, Olhanense 57 and Praiense (Azores) 53 were the top teams when football ceased but if ‘sporting merit’ was to be the criteria for promotion then a more equitable way would have been to take a ‘points-to-games-played’ ratio for both home and away results as Vizela and Arouca had played a game more at home than Olhanense.
Using the formula: points gained at home divided by matches played at home multiplied by 17 (total number of games if season completed) plus the same formula for away games would have given the following standings: 1st Vizela 81.51points; 2nd Olhanense 78.23 points; 3rd Arouca 77.91 points and 4th Praiense 71.81 points.
Even the Mayor of Olhão, António Miguel Pina, has criticised the FPF by saying, “The decision of the FPF is a fraud that goes against sporting truth. It is based on a lie, which is the pressure by the Government not to carry out these games. There are six play-off games to decide which two clubs would ascend to the Segunda Liga. How can it be right that the Primeira Liga can continue with ninety games to be played, yet six games to decide promotion from the Campeonato Portugal are abandoned? The games could easily be played, behind closed doors, over a few days at the FPF City of Football near Lisbon.”