At the center of the controversy is a reference to the “Marega case” in the 10th grade philosophy textbook “Ágora”, edited by Porto Editora and authored by Susana Teles de Sousa, Isabel Pinto Ribeiro and Rui Areal.
Under the pretext of a reflection on the theme of moral subjectivity, the manual evokes the case referring to February 2020 when, during a match between Vitória de Guimarães and FC Porto, Victorian fans led racist chants against the Moussa Marega footballer.
Marega, who represented Vitória de Guimarães in the 2016/17 season and FC Porto in 2015/16 and between 2017/18 and 2020/21, now plays for Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal, has asked to be substituted and left the field at the minute. 70 of this match, following racist insults coming from sectors of the stands assigned to the Guimarães club. The case was even the subject of a prosecution investigation, which resulted in the conviction of three Victorian partisans and the acquittal of Vitória de Guimarães.
The use of this case for pedagogical purposes was condemned by Vitória de Guimarães, who publicly criticized its inclusion in the textbook by an official press release entitled “For the benefit of future generations”. Considering itself “unfounded”, the club demanded “the withdrawal of the aforementioned case study from this book, which potentiates the creation of an unjustified stigma on thousands of supporters and on a club which celebrates, from here two months, its Centenary”.
The note indicates that the philosophy manual in question, “to the astonishment of the Victorians and Guimarães, contains as a case study the ethical position adopted by the news presenter of a Portuguese generalist channel, when ‘reporting’ the events of February 16, 2020, during which the player Marega left the pitch of the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques”.
In addition, the club accuses the media of having been quick to report the case, but not to “restore the truth about the facts decided by the procedures of the Portuguese justice” which determined the acquittal of the club.
“The public condemnation was rapid (and televised to the sound of the wind…), the presumption of guilt was established, a generalized stigmatization was created. Facts decided by the procedures of the Portuguese justice which, after having been set in motion, resulted in the apologies of three spectators who were in the stands of D. Afonso Henriques during this match, as well as acquittals, in all the cases in which the Vitória Sport Clube was accused. so that the winds can take this irreducible truth: Vitória Sport Clube has been acquitted of all charges relating to this case”, underlines the club in the same note.
In addition to Vitória de Guimarães, the Vitória Semper association also condemned the use of this case in educational manuals in a statement released on Saturday.
Porto Editora apologizes and promises to change the text
In response, through a clarification published on its website, the Porto Editora admitted “correct text” in future editions of the manual.
According to the publishing house, the aim of the authors of “Ágora” was to approach “the theme of moral subjectivity through the so-called ‘Marega case’, in order to bring students to critical reflection and to take a position on the basis of current events”. and current and media cases.
According to Porto Editora, “students are guided to interpret the theme through a subjectivist perspective and, in opposition, according to a critical view of subjectivism”. “The Vitória Semper Association’s statement omits the first, in which the authors state: “If you were a subjectivist, you would have to assess this case, which was so mediatised, as a moment when the supporters of Vitória Sport Clube decide to express their feelings of disapproval towards a player. As such, the attitudes that result from this feeling of disapproval cannot be considered objectively bad and you will have to respect them.
The publisher then maintains that “it is false to say that this manual favors the “creation of an unjustified stigmatization on thousands of supporters””, but admits that the authors have proceeded to a generalization by referring to “the supporters of Vitória Sport Clube as the authors of racist insults, as has been publicly claimed in various media in the days following the event of February 17, 2020”.
“Now justice has acquitted the Club of these charges and three spectators who were in the stadium have been fined. In this sense, we apologize to Vitória Sport Clube and the Victorian fans and we will proceed with the correction text, in school textbooks that have not yet been printed, replacing the reference to Vitória SC supporters with ‘spectators in the stadium'”, promises Porto Editora.
During the investigations, the prosecution appointed three defendants, Hélder Manuel Pereira Gonçalves, Joaquim Pedro Sousa Ribeiro and Bruno Cristiano Pereira Teixeira, who began to be heard by a criminal investigating judge on September 25, 2020.
In 2021, the deputy decided to temporarily suspend this trial for one year, the defendants accepting the payment of 1,000 euros to the State, each, within three months, the presentation of apologies to Marega, published in the March 29, 2022 edition of the weekly Desportivo de Guimarães, and the prohibition of access to any sports venue for one year.
Vitória de Guimarães received a three-game ban at D. Afonso Henriques Stadium by the Portuguese Football Federation’s Disciplinary Board, but the club appealed the decision and the Central Administrative Court (TCA) do Sul opted for the acquittal.
Although he mentioned that it “is shown” that the FC Porto player at the time was “indeed the target of chants uttered several times and in unison”, with racist content, the judicial body understood that “the evidence produced cannot lead to the conclusion that the Vitória de Guimarães consented to or tolerated the racist songs in question”, reads the judgment to which the Lusa agency had access.