Someone thought it a great idea to host a football match in Porto between two English teams, with over 12,000 fans in the stadium and many others outside, in a “state of disaster”. However, Germany has banned the entry of the English into its territory because the covid-19 vaccines may not be effective or to a lesser degree compared to the new Indian variant of the disease, which is becoming increasingly important in the UK (as well as in Portugal). This German ban occurred on the same day, in fact, when Portugal lifted all entry restrictions for travelers from the United Kingdom. Even knowing the irresistible allure many Portuguese feel to convert chicken for five euros to the British and to the photos published by Zezé Camarinha, it is business. The great irony: we wanted British tourists so much that the UK had just removed Portugal from the “green list” of destinations, forcing us to a ten-day quarantine and two PCR tests upon return…
In the various images shown on TV, I confess that I have not seen any English fan who adheres to any of the applicable rules that apply to all others who tend this meadow. One can disagree with these rules – one should not subserviently accept their contempt. What I saw was the Portuguese taxpayers’ taxes pouring into the river to pay a lot of extra time to police officers, corner workers and the like, and to pretend that what was impossible to control was being controlled. People are in a liberating trance after a year of deprivation, in the cheap and lawless land, the only country in Europe they can travel to. I can only say: What envy! The authorities were very wrong: if they had warned me of more time, I would have gone to buy a Manchester City scarf, I would have preferred my northern accent (Northern Britain of course) and I would have moved to Porto or the Algarve, one of the first in class. Will I keep going in time? Can’t I be English in Portugal (I promise I’ll pay 80 cents for a beer!)?
Did Portugal, which holds the current presidency of the European Union, cost you nothing now of the sheer randomness and contradiction in the health rules of third countries when entering the Schengen area, when its lack of unification a short time ago was sad? Portugal cost nothing when you see that there are rules, in ‘state of catastrophe’, that precious and dangerous thing which I have imposed, here for the flock, but that is irrelevant when the Briton is willing to demand two fines?
The biggest problem is not the game with the public (the only problem!), nor the apparent chaos in the city, nor the increased health risks, nor the flagrant violation of the law without any consequences.
The biggest problem, if anyone wants to see it, is what to say to whoever hangs out after the match. For us hunters, they are sometimes called Portuguese. We who overheard a ridiculous (and illegal, by the way, these details…) conversation “He will come charters“Immediately to the stadium and they will go home right after the game (therefore they will not come here to do anything…). All that was left was to say that they would still be anointed, shortly before their return, by the Cardinal Patriarch and they were taking them all orderly with a flyer. Promotional, carefully wrapped, folded underside, it says “Portugal is beautiful”, in the good patriotic evangelical parole tradition.
catastrophic situation? When a policeman comes to talk to me about masks, I send the fine to Professor Marcelo and Dr. Costa. So the government must have assumed some failure, even if it was by sending one thing and doing another. It’s good to take responsibility and voters appreciate honesty. The ball is like the world “discovered” by us: a round. We all know we have a ball on our flag. Can you flatten the poles a little bit with a little common sense?
Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Lisbon
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