After being accused of sending off Joao Morteira for asking him to take action against a fan who called him a “son of a bitch…” – after the youngster had recently lost his mother – referee Carlos Lopez clarified his version of the facts. He added: “The young player, and I take this opportunity to wish him all the strength in light of the sad situation that occurred, was expelled after the end of the match, because he addressed the entire refereeing team with insulting and completely inappropriate language.” The judge began with clarification from AF Santarém, explaining that the athlete’s father caught him on the field, that the disrespect arose on the bench, due to such insults, and that it was only in the locker room that he first received “information about the death of the athlete’s mother.”
Read the full statement:
After numerous news reports of the sending off of a young player, allegedly sent off after a fan was reported to have insulted him, a situation that occurred the week of his mother’s death, it’s up to me to clarify:
1) I was hired to officiate a Regional Youth Championship match between União FCI Tomar and SL Cartaxo, at the Estádio Municipal António Fortes, in Tomar.
2) The match was played very well, with the correct behavior on the part of the sports agents present, until the final whistle blew.
3) The young player, to whom I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my strength in the face of the sad situation that occurred, was expelled after the end of the match, because he insulted and insulted the entire refereeing team completely. Inappropriate language.
4) The coach of the aforementioned club, the father of the player in question and the guide of the statement published in the newsrooms, caught me inside the playing rectangle, and prevented me from joining the rest of my team, after I then played an active role in causing disturbances outside the field of play and for this reason he was considered expelled.
5) Disagreements occurred in the stands, between fans of the two clubs, which the players joined in the match due to the use of rude words towards the aforementioned player.
6) In view of what was happening on the bench, there was another player, a colleague of the athlete referred to, who, due to his active participation in the insults, was considered dismissed and who, as in all the situations mentioned above, according to the indicated report was punished The Disciplinary Board suspended him for a period of 3 months. It should be noted that the athlete, who unfortunately lost his mother, was suspended for two matches, contrary to what was reported.
7) When I arrived at my dressing room, at the end of the match, several elements associated with SL Cartaxo approached me, having obtained information, for the first time, about the death of the athlete’s mother.
8) I was surprised, after the end of the disciplinary deliberations, last Thursday, by a statement that seriously misrepresents what happened, while clearly exploiting the entire situation to try to clean up and look good in the picture, trying, once again, to distort the image of arbitration, and in this particular case, the image of the elements that make it up. My team, creating a story in which the order of events is reversed.
9) Since then, I have had the full support of the AF Santarém judging board, and have received a clear message of calm about what happened, after I was asked to continue with the performances, as before.
With respect, above all, to sports agents, it seems clear to me that the people involved need to think and understand that, no matter how much preparation was made before the match, it was impossible for us to guess the tragic situation that occurred a week before the match. Then clearly state and confirm that the player’s ejection occurred before the alleged insult occurred. Add that, as is clear, any arbitration team, no matter how sensitive, cannot overlook all kinds of negative behavior and erase everything that happened after learning of the tragic news. And last but not least, I give invaluable credit to João Morteira, to whom I have the utmost respect, both as an athlete and as a human being, who rises and conquers every day and feels happy in his future. Do what you love most.
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