Police protection for death threat football ref

Police are reported to be watching over the butchers’ shops of beleaguered football ref Manuel Mota following the latest death threats that preceded Monday’s ‘big’ game between Nacional de Madeira and Benfica.
The three shops in Vila Verde have been repeatedly vandalised and daubed with ugly slogans since 36-year-old Mota started adjudicating over pivotal Premier League games.
Last weekend’s warnings, written in a letter left at one of his shops, were chillingly blunt: “If the ‘mouros’ (meaning Benfica) win, you and your daughter will get what you deserve. One bullet will be enough.”
It was the first time the ugliness that has crept into national football has alluded to his 13-year-old daughter and this is one of the reasons behind the GNR’s decision to watch over Mota’s business premises.
“The fact that, last year, the personal details of the referee were made public over the internet is another aspect that worries police,” added Correio da Manhã after the Monday game where Benfica trounced their opponents by four goals to two – and in which Mota’s adjudicating was praised by all.
Meantime, José Gomes of the Portuguese association of referees has spoken out against the “untenable” situation, blaming it on recent criticism by Sporting bosses who claim their club is constantly affected by bad refereeing.
“The constant criticism of Sporting bosses end up inflaming people’s attitudes towards referees,” he told CM. “The situation that is affecting Manuel Mota is what we are fed up with trying to avoid. If things don’t change, we will have to take strong and decisive measures to defend football referees.”
When news of Mota’s latest death threats broke last weekend, Gomes commented that national football was being “destroyed” by the new environment in national football, which he called “on a par with the third world”.
CM reported that PJ police may well be called in to investigate the death threats, but for now, the GNR are handling the situation, patrolling the three butchers’ shops which Mota has said to have no intention of giving up.