Rafael Leao will have to pay € 16.5 million in compensation to Sporting.
The attack on the Alcochete Academy and its consequences for the club and players was one of the themes of the year 2018 with several players from the Leon club entering into dispute with their institution and terminating their contracts unilaterally claiming just cause.
Of nine, two remained …
After the sad events in Alcochete in which some supporters of the Sporting cheerleaders invaded the training center and even attacked some players and technical staff, a media frenzy ensued over the matter which ended up in nine unilateral terminations by players of the professional squad.
Bas Dost, Rodrigo Battaglia and Bruno Fernandes were three of the names who decided to move on to a dispute with the club alleging just cause due to the apparent lack of security and possible involvement of club officers in the matter.
The three players would go back on their decisions and sign new contracts with the Leon club, probably through an improvement in their contractual situation or a subscription premium.
Also William Carvalho, Rui Patrício, Gelson Martins and Daniel Podence left their training club for the same reasons, claiming they were unable to continue to represent the Alvalade club. In these cases, it was possible to reach an understanding with the target clubs of these players for relatively acceptable funds, although something below what would be the fair value for players under normal circumstances.
But the truth is that two players have not reached an agreement with the Leon club and have remained in dispute until today.
Rafael Leão and Rúben Ribeiro even had a favorable decision on the part of FIFA that chose not to appreciate the matter, leaving it in the hands of TAD (Arbitral Tribunal for Sport) that now decided to sanction the young AC Milan winger with a fine of 16 , 5 million euros.
Lille and AC Milan must wash their hands …
With the TAD’s decision to focus only on the player and ignore the clubs that hosted him knowing the conditions under which the player would sign, that is, in a clear dispute with another club, the truth is that Lille and Milan seem to be clear of this issue and they will tend to avoid meddling in it.
This will leave Rafael Leão in a lot of trouble because he will hardly be able to raise such a high amount with wages and gambling prizes. It is true that he recently made the leap from Lille to AC Milan in a transfer valued at 35 million euros, but I do not think that the French are willing to help the player who does not even belong to his staff.
In short, the young player trained at Sporting has placed himself in a very delicate position that can condition his future as a player as well as his evolution. He is a player of great quality who was seen as one of the gems of the Leo club for the next few years, but his desire to leave the club in that window of opportunity may now have had his turn…
Civil court may hinder player’s situation
The case of the invasion of Alcochete is already in the final stage of the trial and everything indicates that the former president of the club, Bruno de Carvalho, will be cleared of any charges taking into account that, apparently, he did not give any order or would have knowledge of the ongoing maneuver that would originate the attack on the players.
In this sense, the club as if sees its responsibilities in this case to be markedly reduced and this will harm the defense of Rafael Leão in all this matter, after all it will be difficult to attribute any responsibility to the club for the attacks carried out.
Naturally, this decision of the TAD will be subject to appeal and that is exactly what the player’s lawyer, Fernando Veiga Gomes, will do in order to reduce the penalty of the player, who, according to him, should be calculated at much lower values and figure at most around 3 million euros.
Like others, this should be a process that will go on for a few more years until there is a definitive sentence or an agreement between the two parties, but it seems clear that the player rushed to leave the club in order to receive a higher salary in France and probably a good signature prize.
Now, you will be accountable to sports justice for some time without knowing exactly what the future holds. His quality as a player clearly predicted that he would have many people interested in what was not a matter of life and death at that time leaving the club. Perhaps it was not the best decision … but what is done, done is done.