The Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, is, once again, at the center of the controversy regarding the conclusions of the inquiry into the performance of the PSP during Sporting’s title celebrations. But the governor dismisses responsibilities and blames Sporting and the Lisbon City Council.
The disclosure of the conclusions of the General Inspectorate of Internal Administration (IGAI), within the scope of the inquiry into the performance of the PSP in the Sporting festivities, who was national football champion after a 19-year fast, left Eduardo Cabrita badly in the picture (once again).
The inquiry notes that the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) ignored for 2 months a request from Sporting to prepare the festivities.
Furthermore, “Cabrita signed an official letter” giving the endorsement to the agreed solution by the club and by the Lisbon City Council for the celebration of the title, despite the advice against the General Directorate of Health (DGS) and the PSP, as indicated by Expresso, citing the inquiry.
Thus, the police force’s action plan was only prepared on the eve of the game that ended up making Sporting the national champion.
However, at a press conference, the government official claimed that the festivities were held in accordance with “a model agreed between Sporting Clube de Portugal and Lisbon City Council, PSP proposals were not accepted on different models, namely that of celebration entirely inside the stadium”.
Cabrita says Sporting did not comply with “guidelines”
At a press conference, the minister commented on the conclusions of the report, considering that “the determinations were not complied with” defined by the PSP national director for the area surrounding the Sporting stadium, during the festivities.
Cabrita said that measures should have been taken to “safeguard public order”, with the “definition of a perimeter through manifestation grids, access control with personal searches and inspection compliance with the rules inherent to the pandemic” of covid-19, namely wearing a mask and maintaining social distance.
However, these measures were not complied with and Cabrita announced that the IGAI will find out, in an autonomous process, which “circumstances” are that “allowed the agglomeration of a large number of fans in the area surrounding the stadium on the afternoon of May 11th”, thus violating the “guidelines defined by the national director of the PSP”.
Cabrita also stated that the Sporting “did not respond to any of the requests by the IGAI”, within the scope of the inquiry.
The minister referred that several steps were taken with a “very varied number of institutions” and noted that “all responded and collaborated with the General Inspectorate”, with the exception of the Alvalade club.
Sporting denies Cabrita
The national champion in title has already responded to Cabrita’s allegations, considering that they are from “extreme gravity”.
“Sporting Clube de Portugal does not conceive any alternative possibility of trying to divert attention or responsibility on this, or any other, current issue, the deep lack of knowledge is regrettable that the minister reveals of the events that have resulted in the transmission to the public sphere of information that does not correspond to what actually happened”, the lions point out in a statement.
In the note, the club also emphasizes that the plan for the celebration of the title “was the result of a proposal discussed, accepted and planned by all parties, even though the original proposal does not come from Sporting CP”.
Alvalade officials ensure that, weeks before winning the title, they got in touch with the Ministry of Health and with the MAI itself.
“For three weeks, Sporting CP tried to sensitize the Government for the eventuality of conquest and consequent spontaneous popular commemoration”, highlights the club, stressing that it “has been prepared to be present at a meeting with the competent authorities”.
But only on May 8th is that Sporting CP “received ‘unofficial’ authorization from the MAI to prepare the festivities, that is, the procession of buses with players, thus starting the contacts between Sporting CP, PSP and City Hall”, guarantees the emblem.
Sporting points out that they turned out to be analyzed several scenarios, namely at a meeting attended by members of the club, the Ministry of Health and DGS, the MAI, the PSP and the Lisbon City Council, where he guarantees that the final plan was prepared and ended up being “executed”.
“Those present at the meeting agreed that the presence of the audience in the stadium it was not a solution to the fundamental question”, the club adds.
The statement from the lions also emphasizes that “it’s not Sporting CP that imposes rules to the DGS, PSP, MAI or the Government”.
Thus, Sporting concludes that is “unfortunate and untrue” that Cabrita “affirms” that the club “has not responded to any request for clarification made by the IGAI”.
The club assures that it responded in writing to the IGAI and that “on June 17th, Sporting CP’s Security Director gave statements for two hours before three inspectors, after being summoned by the MAI within the scope of said inquiry”.
no one was alright
The IGAI report concludes that no one did well in the process, considering that the Sporting and Lisbon City Council “defended the celebrations” and that “DGS and PSP are not”, as the Expresso highlights.
However, at a decisive meeting on May 7, with all parties present, “no one seemed to be sworn in authority to define a trajectory”, the report concludes, as quoted by the weekly.
Thus, the meeting ended without any decision.
IGAI also emphasizes that the Sporting will have been “irreducible in the decision to promote the parade”, despite the reservations of the DGS and PSP.
The organization also points out that the Alvalade club “never considered the possibility of simply not holding any festivities outside the stadium”, as transcribed by the Expresso.
But IGAI also points the finger at PSP, noting that, in some meetings, she “was not very assertive in her position” and that she “claimed to accept any solution for the celebrations”, with the certainty that she would “adapt the police device to whatever was decided”.
However, “globally”, the PSP “completed its mission” during Sporting’s festivities, said the general inspector of the Internal Administration, Anabela Cabral Ferreira, at the press conference to present the IGAI report.
The inspector-general also stressed that the PSP could “have acted in a better way”, but it was facing a “very difficult picture”, in a pandemic situation and with “thousands of people on the street”.