The FPF CD opened disciplinary proceedings against SAD due to Carlos Xavier’s statements on Sporting TV. According to the regulations, the Federation’s Disciplinary Council can impose a punishment ranging from two to five games of suspension to the green and white players. This will then be subject to appeal.
Sporting may pay dearly for the statements made by Carlos Xavier, a former Lions player, on the 8th on the club’s channel, which led to the opening of a disciplinary process against SAD by the FPF Disciplinary Council. A process that can lead to a punishment of between two and five games behind closed doors, in accordance with article 113 of the disciplinary regulations.
In the statement referring to the meeting that took place on the 15th, the FPF CD reports on the « establishment of disciplinary proceedings against Sporting Clube de Portugal – Futebol SAD, by deliberation of the Professional Section, on September 12, 2023, with the purpose of statements released on a television channel operated by the defendant sports company, following news published in the media. The process was sent, on September 13, 2023, to the Commission of Instructors of the Portuguese Professional Football League, with advertising being excluded until the end of the instruction « .
Carlos Xavier, remember, criticized Taremi, FC Porto forward, following the Dragons’ game against Arouca, stating: « VAR is there to help. The referee, here, just had to have courage, to say the least thing, and give two yellow cards to the Muslim, who when he came to Portugal didn’t know how to swim and now he knows how to dive. »
Phrases that immediately sparked controversy, with FC Porto reacting in a statement: « What do entities such as SOS Racismo, Amnesty, ERC, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance think about this xenophobic, racist and hate speech on Sporting’s television? , Portuguese Justice and Government? Or the Commission for Equality and Against Racial Discrimination? This is too serious to go unharmed. »
The former Portuguese international would, moreover, take a step back on September 8th, saying: « I want to apologize for the words I said last Wednesday. Far be it from me to want to hurt anyone; far from me to use words xenophobic or racist, when I have friends of all colors and all religions. I therefore apologize to Taremi, who I called a Muslim. I just wanted to refer to the way he plays, because off the field he is a player I value a lot. I have great regard for him and the work he does for his country. »
Consulted by O JOGO, Lúcio Correia, professor of sports law at Universidade Lusíada, considers that this case falls within article 113 – Discriminatory behavior, and recalls that, despite Carlos Xavier not being an employee of the club, « it is difficult for Sporting, SAD distance themselves from the statements because they were made on the club’s channel. » The expert therefore admits that, once the process is concluded after hearing those involved, the Leonine SAD will be condemned to « play behind closed doors, within the legal framework. » However, he warns: « The decision will always be subject to appeal to the TAD and does not mean that a possible punishment will be carried out in the current sports season. »
What does the law say
« The club that promotes, consents or tolerates the display of banners, the chanting of racist slogans or, in general, any behavior that violates human dignity based on race, language, religion, ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation is punished with the sanction of playing games behind closed doors to be set between a minimum of two and a maximum of five games and, additionally, with the sanction of a fine of an amount to be set between a minimum of 250 UC and a maximum of 1250 UC ».