The soccer

Football is a big Portuguese industry.

1 Football is a major Portuguese industry. In the 2018/19 yearbook, released this week by the Club League, the numbers are there. It represents at least 0,27 of the national GDP. Contributes 150 million euros to the tax authority. It generates 2.621 direct jobs.

The pandemic will have reduced the turnover by 136 million euros, but this accounting, unfortunately, is far from the final one. We still need to test how the transfer market behaves and see if the public will return quickly to the stadiums. It is like in all sectors: we will see.

One day it will also be possible to calculate the indirect impact of football on the economy. What will never be calculable is its immaterial wealth. There are no instruments to reach a number that defines people's happiness in the face of something apparently as childish as it is fantastic of a national team triumph in a European football. Those images from 2016, which from Paris put Portugal in a party, will be unforgettable for a long time. Until the next celebration, be it general, due to the selection, in other words, selections, because the triumphs of the FPF teams have many dimensions; or private, these being those of clubs.

2 For many reasons, it makes sense to be aware of anything that can contribute to undermining the good image of this industry. Perhaps because of this, the decision of the SIC and TVI televisions to end the cycles of programs fed by supporters who argued as if they were in the stands under the effects of the most demented alienation was quite noticeable.

Honestly, I don't give much importance to the case. Other televisions will raise the standard of these low-cost programs and good audiences, absolute or relative. There will always be individuals available for the alarming and the lack of self-respect. And televisions themselves, as is known, have varying and very specific toxicity cycles. Reporting or creating them is part of normal revenue and management strategies.

3 I prefer to highlight, therefore, the request for an inquiry process at SAD do Feirense that the League addressed this week to the Disciplinary Council of FPF. At stake is an eventual incompatibility: the leader of that SAD, Kunle Soname, will also own a bookmaker in Africa, Bet9ja. And everything that can pinch the good name of the industry has to be fought, investigated.

The interests must be kept on their own tracks. The same people, or families, cannot be at the same time in betting, in business and have qualifying holdings in SAD. It is incompatible.

I believe, moreover, that someone should have also given due importance to the repeated public insinuations of the president of the Aves-club, António Freitas, regarding the suspicious conduct of the representatives of Chinese capital that led to the debacle of SAD do Aves.

Everyone has noticed that António Freitas suspects that there was an interest in shooting Aves out of professional competitions because that would indirectly benefit, as it did, another SAD owned by Chinese capital that was on the verge of leaving these same professional competitions, the from Cova da Piedade. It is a question for the Public Prosecutor to know whether, due to the unfathomable mysteries of cascading companies, all this is true or not.

4 The League of Clubs is therefore very good at asking, as it asks, for more and better instruments from the Government in order to certify the “investors” who arrive in catadupa in the West, and in Portugal too, coming from areas of the world where money doesn’t seem to cost a lot to win. The problem of money laundering and match fixing is very real, it threatens sports competitions globally. And football replicates in all countries the importance it has among us. It is necessary to keep an eye on it, keep it clean and equal to its importance in view of the (immaterial) joy of the supporters and the (material material) interest of the economy, of employment. That is what we also talk about when it comes to football.


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