A BOLA – Court acquits Rui Costa (Benfica)

The Central Administrative Court of the South (TCAS) has dismissed the Portuguese Football Federation’s appeal against the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAD) to overturn the €1,150 fine imposed on Rui Costa for remarks at the end of the game against Gil Vicente. on February 2.

“It’s time to say enough,” the Reds president said in protest of the referees. TCAS concluded that the statements were “spoken in the correct language”, that they constitute “a normal and acceptable negative judgment on the referee’s sporting performance” and that Rui Costa raised “legitimate disagreements about the meaning of certain bid decisions”.

In the TCAS decision accessed by A BOLA, it can be read that Rui Costa “has his legal right to criticize and freedom of expression, expressing his opinion in a way that is not annoying to the referees in question”, adding that he cannot attribute to these statements “hidden meanings that do not emerge from their cold analysis”, unlike the FPF.

“The referee is, of course, subject to evaluations of its professional performance, even crude evaluations, as long as the elementary values ​​of coexistence in sport between the various sports actors, bodies and governing bodies are not called into question,” he argues. the TCAS, which confirms TAD’s position: “The Arbitral Tribunal understands that, despite certain statements made by the Claimant [Rui Costa] being at the limit of admissibility, the truth is that they literally do not exceed that limit, nor can proceedings of intention be conducted based on the use of expressions vested in the common language, which cannot be assigned a different meaning in field sports than they have usually”.

“Furthermore, the fact that the expression ‘enough’ could have been used in the past by the Presidents of two other EDCs to incite violence is not sufficient to conclude that in casu This was also Rui Costa’s aim with the use of this expression, that is to say that it was translated into “challenge”. Incidentally, no factual evidence has been proven, following the statements of 2.2.2022, which would lend credence to the FPF Disciplinary Board’s understanding that Rui Costa’s use of the expression ‘enough’ was intended to encourage violence,” they add TCAS.

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