With a likely resumption of top division football in Portugal only just over two weeks away, Portimonense have gone public with a statement saying that “we want to restore confidence in our game, and we are working hard for those that support us, to make Portimão and the Algarve proud”.
Veteran striker Jackson Martínez, with one goal in 18 matches to his name, would also like to “thank fans and sponsors, who have backed us all the way. We are doing our part and encourage you to do yours, wear masks and be careful”.
The 33-year-old added: “We are all anxious to get back on the pitch.”
In contrast, manager Paulo Sérgio is more critical, considering a return at this time somewhat ‘premature’, if not ‘irresponsible’.
“It is a disadvantage to have no support for the remaining six home matches, and at the same time I don’t want to lose a child (to the virus) or anyone connected with football,” he said.
Portimonense are due to resume their relegation battle at the Municipal Stadium against Gil Vicente over the last weekend of May, provided the go-ahead by health authorities and the successful completion of two Covid-19 tests 48 hours immediately prior to the match.
In the meantime, the Portuguese FA has received a complaint from FIFA, threatening sanctions against Portimonense should the club fail to prove that it paid €110,000 in compensation to Brazilian side Atlético Mineiro relating to the 2016 transfer of Bruno Tabata.
By SKIP BANDELE