São Paulo is in the final of the Copa Sudamericana after exactly ten years. The club’s first participation in such a decision was in 1994, when the competition was called Copa Conmebol. São Paulo won the title, beating Peñarol in the decision.
In 2012, already baptized as Copa Sudamericana, Tricolor took the cup again, in a decision of the most tumultuous.
The 2012 Copa Sudamericana final was against Tigre, from Argentina. The first match, at Bombonera, ended 0-0. And the second, at the crowded Morumbi, was interrupted after a fight between Argentine players and São Paulo’s athletes and security.
Tricolor was winning 2-0 when Tigre refused to come back and play the second half. The Argentines claimed that they were attacked and threatened by the club’s security. São Paulo was declared the winner of the tournament.
On December 13 of that year, UOL Esporte reported that during their testimony to the police, Argentine Tigre players retreated and did not register the alleged threat with firearms they had suffered inside the locker room.
“That is a hoax and we all know it,” said Juvenal. Juvencio, then president of São Paulo. “It started on the field, with 67,000 fans who were there. They are not crazy to reaffirm that. There is no such thing as weapons. Everyone saw what happened. There’s nothing they can claim. You have to find another excuse, because this one didn’t work.” right.”
The proven simulation of Roberto Rojas, the Chilean goalkeeper who pretended to have been hit by a firecracker in the Brazil-Chile duel at Maracanã, in 1989, was remembered by São Paulo when judging the reports from players do Tigre about the violence suffered in Morumbi. The case with Rojas had the same outcome as in the South American final, with the duel being interrupted before the end.
“I I Think what happened was something similar to a case that I don’t know if you remember, of Rojas, who simulated being hit by a rocket. It’s the same scene”, said the advisor to the presidency of São Paulo, José Francisco mansur.
The club’s lawyer, Gustavo Frenchsaid that “the Argentines weren’t crazy to carry this version forward. It didn’t make any sense”.
According to the police, of the five Tigre players who came to the police station to file a complaint, only two were heard. The Argentines asked permission to leave, otherwise they would miss the flight that would take them home the next morning, and were dismissed.
‘We wanted to play’
Tigre coach, rival in that decision, Néstor “Pipo” Gorosito gave an interview in May 2021 to the Argentine TV channel TyC Sports remembering the backstage of the fight that interrupted the final. And he surprised: he said that the team wanted to play the second half at Morumbi, but was prevented by the consul of Argentina, Agustín Molina.
“They said I was guilty, that I said they couldn’t play, but it has nothing to do with it,” he said. “Is a foreman going to say that a factory is going to close? It was the consul who ordered it.”
“It was crazy, they made our life impossible. Their coach [Ney Franco] he was an idiot, he said he had been mistreated here in Argentina. Lie, in Argentina they don’t even care about you. He started to sow discord and confusion, then we arrived in São Paulo and they didn’t give us a field to train. They sent us to train for two hours where we were, they didn’t let us warm up on the Morumbi lawn.”
The coach offered a surprising assessment of that São Paulo that was counting on the end of Rogério Ceni’s career and the beginning of Lucas. “They had a great team. After Raí, they were the best team in São Paulo. You have to be lucky too. Able to find some shitheads in the final and end up winning.”
About the fight in the locker room that paralyzed that decision, Gorosito recalled: “There was a ruckus on the field and they split up, and when we got to the locker room the security guards were beating two of our players who were coming in. Then we went in and they all fought. Impressive. You [seguranças] fat, big, muscular, started to get tired and our boys went up, and that’s because we were missing some guys who were also big. Until they started hitting us with clubs, they took out a revolver, they beat one of our players in the chest. The CONMEBOL representative and the referee were there, five meters away.”
“The consul didn’t let us play because he asked what the guarantees were that this wouldn’t happen again, and Conmebol and the referee said that the guarantees were the same as those given until then.”
“They wouldn’t take the medal from another team. From a Boca, River, San Lorenzo? [Julio, presidente da AFA] Grondona would not let him take the medal. But with us and other teams that in quotes are smaller, yes.”
‘It was all normal’
The column heard coach Ney Franco to know his opinions on Gorosito’s criticism.
Ney Franco replied: “These are comments that are surprising. I don’t know where he got this information from, he’s wrong. You know how I am, I don’t have the profile for that”, he said, about Gorosito pointing out a “fabricated” animosity towards the departure of return.
“I don’t remember being badly received there in Argentina. It was all normal. The day before, we had a training session at Bombonera, we recognized the pitch, their team was also there, in the most absolute normality”, said Ney Franco, who rejected any controversy about the 2012 final.
“Me and the coaching staff were preparing the team before the game and at halftime, as usual, after the game we learned that Tigre’s players had problems getting on the pitch and warming up, but nothing related to us”, concluded the coach, whose last job was completed in August last year at CSA.