Following days of criticism, the issue of Portugal’s prime minister, Lisbon’s mayor and sundry other politicos openly supporting a football boss in all manner of judicial hot-water has been resolved.
According to reports, Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira did it himself.
Unable to tolerate any longer the “defamatory climate” that descended on those that “simply” expressed support as fans for their club, Vieira decided to remove the names of prime minister António Costa, Lisbon mayor Fernando Medina, et al from the ‘commission of honour’ supporting his re-election campaign.
This hasn’t stopped him criticising the swirling sense of outrage for being “unjustified and profoundly hypocritical”.
But his actions have at least saved PM Costa from having to perform an embarrassing ‘u-turn’ and reconsider his contention that he was just showing support ‘as a fan, not as a prime minister’ (click here).
It was an explanation that satisfied no-one bearing in mind he said not so long ago that ministers ‘wherever they were’ could never forget they were members of the government (click here).
As to Luís Filipe Vieira’s ‘trials and tribulations’ – various cases coming up in which he has been implicated for alleged corruption/ mismanagement – the long-standing football boss says he has a “tranquil conscience” and ‘guarantees’ that if he is condemned “in future, in any of the cases that people are talking so much about these days” he will be “the first to take the initiative” and quit the presidency of Benfica Football Club “by his own foot” .