“Apparently, to be a refugee, you just have to arrive the day before and compete”

Ana Oliveira criticizes the athletics federation for national rules.

Benfica’s technical athletics coordinator Ana Oliveira has blamed the Portuguese Athletics Federation for making the National Club Championship “confusing from the start”, which the Reds won on the men’s side in Leiria.

“This championship was confusing from the start,” the official criticized after the competition, which Benfica won for the 12th consecutive time, this time with a higher number of first places, after finishing the competition level on points with Sporting. .

At stake, according to Ana Oliveira, are the rules for the registration of athletes of the Portuguese Athletics Federation, namely the authorization for the Ukrainian Andrii Protsenko to compete for Sporting. “Honestly, we won this championship without understanding the rules of the national club championship: apparently, you can participate with more than two foreigners; apparently, to be a refugee, you just have to arrive the day before to be here and compete. hired two Ukrainians or other foreigners to be here. The rules of the Federation are not clear,” he explained.

According to the manager, Benfica participated in Leiria with “the support of the legal department”, but competing “as if everything was normal”. “Even because we know that Benfica never wins any protest: proof of this is the 800 meters, in which we had an athlete who was first pushed and then hampered in the goal. The judge was peremptory, disqualified immediately [Nuno Pereira, do Sporting]but Sporting couldn’t be wrong and they went 40 yards behind to invent [um motivo para desqualificar José Carlos Pinto, do Benfica]…”, he criticized.

Despite the regrets, Ana Oliveira left happy with another title, which she already expected would be difficult to conquer. “We were already expecting it to be like this. The season has been very long and the federation has struggled to put the national club championship at this time of year, for everyone: for Benfica and Sporting, above all, we had athletes who came about 48 hours ago from the United States of America, with all the positive and negative emotions, with the “jet lag”, etc. Then there is another little trick, considering that the European Championship is in three weeks”, he underlined.

The reds’ coordinator praised Sporting ‘for the way they faced this championship thinking they were going to win’. “Fortunately he didn’t win, but it made us more attentive, more rigorous. It’s good news for Portuguese athletics, if Sporting respects the regulations…”, he insisted , again referring to the case of Protsenko.

For Ana Oliveira, “it’s a great asset to have athletes like Auriol Dongmo, Patrícia Mamona, Pedro Pichardo, Tiago Luís Pereira and also like Protsenko”. “It is a call that I make to the federation: to understand each other, to define itself and to help us to understand athletics in Portugal”, he added.

For the manager, it is essential to “read a regulation and understand”, because you have to choose between “more Pichardos, more international athletics” or “making clowns”. “The federation puts on the ‘circus’ – with all due respect to the circus – and we come here to perform. But the clowns always pay – we pay to be here,” he concluded.

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