The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, today stressed the importance of fulfilling the tradition of holding the Portuguese Cup final, albeit in a different context because of the covid-19 pandemic.
“It is a very atypical and very long season, and this final has great expectations, because the whole country is aware of what is, during the pandemic, the ability not to miss a tradition that is part of the history of sport in Portugal, and the football, ”the official responsible for the arrival at Estádio Cidade de Coimbra said in statements to RTP, where he will attend the final, played without an audience on the stands.
He added: “It is part of the tradition for the head of state, the President of the Republic, to preside. Only in exceptional cases, and not in my mandate, did that not happen. And the tradition is fulfilled, naturally, following the health rules, but it is fulfilled for the affirmation of what is important in sport and football, which is this sense of solidarity in a city as beautiful as Coimbra ”.
Marcelo also pointed out that today's match between FC Porto and Benfica has “a great team from the north and another great team from the south, in a great Portuguese city”.
Asked whether he believes it will be possible for the public to return to the stadiums next season, the head of state was cautious.
“Hope so. Certainly not in the final of the Portuguese Cup, but I hope so, that there will be an evolution. None of us do. It is not known what is going on in the world, this is a global phenomenon ”, he stressed.
According to the President of the Republic, what can be expected “with great force” is that in sports, such as “in the reopening of the school year and in the daily life of the Portuguese, there is – as some call it – a new normal, there is a normalization in everyone's life ”, after this period marked by the constraints caused by the new coronavirus.
Benfica and FC Porto meet today in the 80th final of the Portuguese Cup in football, at Estádio Cidade de Coimbra, from 20:45, behind closed doors, due to the pandemic of covid-19, with arbitration by from Porto Artur Soares Dias.
The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 680,000 deaths and infected more than 17.6 million people in 196 countries and territories, according to a report by the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 1,737 of the 51,310 people confirmed to be infected died, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
DN // NFO
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