SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's championship will start as scheduled this weekend after the Brazilian football federation succeeded in its appeal against a club that filed a civil suit trying to be included in the country's first division.
Icasa, a modest club from the country's northeast, was seeking to take a place in the top flight because one of the four teams promoted from Serie B last year, Figueirense, used a player who was incorrectly registered. Icasa finished fifth and wanted to take Figueirense's spot, but a sports tribunal court dismissed its case because the club took too long to appeal.
The federation however had a legal setback later Thursday when Portuguesa was successful in the latest stage of its legal challenge to be reincluded in the top division. Portuguesa was relegated last season when a sports tribunal stripped points from the club for using a suspended player in the final round.
Despite the legal victory, Portuguesa said it will play its second-division match this weekend to avoid disrupting the tournament. But it guaranteed that it will keep fighting for its spot in the top flight. The federation has already dismissed a similar decision that favored Portuguesa recently.
The first division begins on Saturday. Icasa is expected to play its second-division match on Friday.
The league turmoil comes as Brazilian football is under increased scrutiny with the World Cup less than two months away. The country's image has already been tarnished by significant problems with its World Cup preparations.
Continue reading this story on the...