The letter read, “We are players of Sporting Clube Olhanense, an Algarve club with 108 years of history, where your good friend Valdir Cardoso started his career.
“We decided to send you this letter because you are the greatest global icon and an inspiration for anyone who plays football in our country. We as players in the Campeonato Portugal (level three), are continually inspired by your efforts and your dedication. Your extraordinary career, your goals achieved and your historic victories are combined with total dedication and sacrifices, so you are the best!
“Therefore, we are sure that you will be able to imagine the emotional state in which we find ourselves at this moment. Defying all the difficulties in semi-professional football, we have been working since the first day of this season, with a single objective to reach the Segunds Liga to finally become professional players. It was a great season, game after game, our team gained confidence, the dressing room got together, the number of fans increased and the results took us to the top of the table and we were in first place at the time of the suspension of games by Covid-19.”
The letter went on to explain how the Portugal Football Federation (FPF) had taken the decision to promote Vizela and Arouca from two other divisions when a much fairer way would have been to promote all four top teams or to average the points on a home-and-away basis which would have seen SC Olhanense promoted.
The letter received wide publicity throughout Europe including Italy where Ronaldo plays for Juventus who are due to resume their Serie A games on 13 or 20 June.
Last Monday several Olhanense players thanked East Algarve Walking Football for their support of the local community with food parcels. Tiago Jogo, Gonçalo Augusto and Portugal U20 international Leonardo Lelo presented ‘Justiça para o Olhanense’ T-shirts to the volunteers. CW