On Tuesday, we brought to you the news of a protest filed by Brazilian club Palmeiras over a disallowed goal they believe was only overturned will the help of video replay in a loss to Internacional. Since then, Brazil’s Superior Court of Sports Justice has voided the result as they investigate the protest, and docked Inter the three points they earned in the win. Because Palmeiras is struggling in the relegation zone, the tribunal’s decision has set off a storm of legal threats and general bluster that threatens to pull the Brazilian Championship into a situation known as “the big carpet.”
Palmeiras are struggling near the foot of the table and the decision has worried their nearest rivals Bahia and Sport Recife.
The former South American champions are 18th in the 20-team table with 32 points, one behind Sport Recife and five adrift of Bahia who are sixteenth. The bottom four teams are relegated.
“I think it is absurd. It’s a case of taking action after the incident has happened. This decision could set a precedent,” Sport Recife president Gustavo Debeux told Brazilian media.
“I am going to talk to our legal department. Sport Recife are also going to stand up for our rights.”
Bahia’s legal director Paulo Reis said his club would ask to take part in the hearing.
“We are going to enter the case as an affected third party,” he told the Universo Online website.
“The club has direct involvement in the result of the match, and could lose out with the final decision.”
This is not new for Brazilian football, hence the existence of the idiom (Tapetao in Portuguese). Back in 2000, no championship could be held due to legal disputes over who would be relegated from the season before. The Brazilian media are already expressing fear that this season will be marred by a league results decided in a court room rather than on the field.