Porto fury after Hulk ban cut
Angry Ferreira claims initial decision has cost Porto the title
Last Updated: March 25, 2010 2:24pm
Hulk: Ban reduced
Furious Porto coach Jesualdo Ferreira is seeking compensation for his club from the Portuguese league after striker Hulk had his four-month suspension reduced to just three matches.
Hulk has already sat out 17 matches following an incident in December, which Ferreira claims has cost his side the chance of successfully defending their league crown.
Hulk was suspended for four months, with team-mate Cristian Sapunaru handed a six-month ban, for their part in a tunnel bust-up involving Benfica stewards last December.
The repercussions following the Portuguese federation's decision have already started with league president Herminio Loureiro handing in his resignation.
"Finally we have the decision of the Portuguese Football Federation's Council of Justice to remove Hulk's and Sapunaru's punishments, after nearly three months of absence," Ferreira said.
"When I said it was a disgrace, it seems that I was right.
"All this damaged Porto, its players. They are major investments and we feel aggrieved."
Porto have released a statement announcing they have "instructed their lawyers to bring the appropriate measures of accountability and compensation" against both the league and its directors, as well as calling for heads to roll.
However, Ferreira believes that should be just the beginning.
"We were deceived," continued the Porto boss. "The sackings, which have started today and will probably continue, are not enough for us, because we went through some very complicated situations.
"We are happy that Hulk and Sapunaru have had their sentences reduced, but we are angry to have been harmed. The way we were penalised on a sporting level is hard to tell.
"How is it that Portuguese football, which will have a team in the World Cup, can transmit these images to the world?"
Porto were one point behind Benfica in the Liga Sagres standings when the suspensions were enforced but now trail the league leaders by 11 points with just seven games remaining.
Sapunaru was sent out on loan to Rapid Bucharest in February.