When big clubs get relegated, you know it’s going to take more than just what happened on the football pitch to send them down. Both Fluminense and Vasco aren’t giving up using bureaucracy to remain in the top flight of the Brazilian football league system, hoping that an illegal use of a player by Portuguesa and a similar case by Flamengo, the country’s most popular club.
Right now, Fluminense, who won their final match against Bahia (2-1) are at the top spot among teams that were relegated. Portuguesa were seemingly safe, especially after their 0-0 draw with Gremio, but the tables have turned on them, and if everything goes Fluminense’s way in what’s to come, Portuguese will be the team that is relegated.
|18||Vasco da Gama (R)||38||11||11||16||50||61||−11||44|
|19||Ponte Preta (R)||38||9||10||19||37||55||−18||37|
Why? They used Heverton in the match against Gremio, a player who should have been serving a two-match suspension, sent off in a loss to Bahia back in November 24. According to the Brazilian FA, he was suspended for two matches, but Portuguesea were somehow wrongly advised by one of its lawyers that it was a one-game suspension.
According tot he club’s president Roberto Dos Santos, the club is aware that they may have made a mistake through wrong advice, and are now going to look at the tapes of the trial Heverton faced to see if he should or shouldn’t have been on the pitch.
Vasco? With 44 points after a 5-1 loss to Atletico Paranaense in a match remembered for the fan violence that erupted, they are also counting on something similar. Flamengo, a huge rival from Rio, might have used Andre Santos despite him not being eligible. That point drop won’t be enough, but Vasco are also hoping to overturn the result of their defeat against Atletico PR in hope that the tribunal brings them back the points and takes some away from Flamengo, sending down the most popular club in Brazil.