There’s still a chance for Portuguesa to appeal, but at the moment it seems like the small club from Sao Paulo is going to be relegated because they used an ineligible player, costing them points. The winners? Fluminense, the highest ranked of the relegated teams, who enjoy being terrible on the pitch but great in the courtrooms.
Portuguesa used Heverton in a match against Gremio which ended in a draw. Heverton was sent off in a previous match, which should have caused him to be suspended, although it was in the Copa do Brasil and there was some confusion on whether or not he was suspended. This results in three points being docked for the infraction and one more point being taken away from the club, leaving them two points below Fluminense.
The outrage in Brazil over this case is the matter of big vs small. It seems that Fluminense, not for the first time, always seem to pile on the court and lawyer pressure the moment they fail on the pitch, avoiding relegation for the wrong reasons. Cruzeiro were punished for a similar infraction this season, but didn’t lose any points – only fined. Flamengo are in a similar bind with the use of Andre Santos, but even if they lose the points, they’ll still finish above the relegation zone.
Portuguesa still have a chance of winning the appeal which will be in front of 5 brand new judges, but their only reasoning to stay up isn’t that they didn’t violate the rules, by mistake or on purpose; it’s that previous clubs, bigger and more popular than them on a national level, have been punished far less severely.