Olhanense's appeal rejected, Vizela and Arouca ascend to the II League

The Algarve team, which was leading the Series D of the Portuguese Championship, had contested the decision of the Portuguese Football Federation

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (TAD) confirmed today the accession of Vizela and Arouca to the II Portuguese Football League, after denying Olhanense's appeal, according to the ruling to which Lusa had access.

The Algarve team, which led the Portuguese Championship Series D, contested the decision of the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) to promote to the II Liga Arouca and Vizela, the two teams with the most points in the third tier, following the cancellation of the championships due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The arbitration decision taken today in the process brought by Olhanense to the FPF, had Vizela and Arouca as counter-interested, for the promotion, but also Fafe, Lusitânia Lourosa, Praiense, Benfica de Castelo Branco and Real Massamá, who were fighting for promotion and, in this way, they will return to dispute the third level.

"It was the government's ban on playing the games that deprived them of the possibility, like other clubs, of acquiring the necessary points to be able to compete in the 'play-off' and, in this way, and being successful, access the II Liga”, reads in the judgment, justifying the decisions taken by the federative body, on the 8th of April, the 2nd and the 14th of May.

“In short, it is rejected that there has been a violation of the binding principles of administrative activity, so that the contested decisions of the defendant [Olhanense] could be put in crisis. Moreover, gross violations of such principles would always have to be at stake, which, in any case, does not seem to have occurred", reads the decision.

The TAD arbitrators also concluded that the FPF decisions did not restrict fundamental rights of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic or of competition.

«What exists is a right (a subjective legal position) of football clubs to compete in the Portuguese Championship in accordance with the respective Regulation, but not a “fundamental right” to access the II League», reads the ruling.

This decision was approved by a majority, and the presiding arbitrator João Miranda voted the winner, considering that “the decisions adopted by the FPF board on May 14, blatantly conflict with the principles of equality, impartiality, proportionality and the protection of trust”.

When the competition was suspended, on March 12, and then concluded, on April 8, Vizela led Serie A, with 60 points, and Arouca was first in Serie B, with 58, while Olhanense commanded Series D, with the same 57 as Real Massamá. As for Praiense, he led Serie C, with 53.

The Portuguese Championship is a competition in two phases. In the first, 72 clubs compete in four series of 18 teams. The first two in each series then compete in a play-off to find the two to nominate for the II League.

However, due to the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus, the competition was interrupted in March, when there were nine games to play in the first phase and all clubs had the same number of games.