Joao Ferreira and Paulo Batista are the subject of two disciplinary proceedings for refusing to referee the match Beira Mar – Sporting, in the second round of the Portuguese Primeira Liga.
The Disciplinary Committee is accusing Joao Ferreira (photo) of declining an appointment without a valid justification, in accordance with article 158 of the Disciplinary Regulations, which provides for 1 to 8 games suspension, if found guilty. Joao Ferreira requested to be relieved of his appointment on the eve of the game Beira Mar – Sporting, which took place on 21 August 2011. Paulo Batista has been accused of not accepting an appointment without a good reason, incurring a suspension between 2 to 5 games, according to article 156 of the Portuguese Regulations. The refusal of the two referees was justified at the time as a reaction to the statements of Godinho Lopes, president of Sporting, who strongly criticized their colleague Carlos Xistra, who refereed the match Sporting – Olhanense, which ended in a draw.
Joao Ferreira has been a FIFA Referee since 2003 and officiated the 2011 Portuguese Cup final, Porto – Guimaraes, as well as the 2010 Portuguese Supercup. Last year, Ferreira agreed with the SFA to referee the Premier League match Motherwell – Hearts, but then he changed his mind and refused to officiate instead of his Scottish colleagues who were on strike.
The Association of Portuguese Football Referees (APAF) is concerned with this situation and will offer support to both referees through a firm stand and collective action.