Bizarre Circumstances See Both Corinthians and Int

Bizarre Circumstances See Both Corinthians and Internacional Claiming Brazilian Championship TitlenewsRIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Corinthians claimed the Brazilian championship in chaotic circumstances on Sunday despite losing their final game 3-2 at Goias and a court injunction declaring the competition sub judice. The Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) proclaimed them 2005 champions on its official Web site and the team completed a lap of honour while thousands of Corinthians fans in Sao Paulo celebrated. 'The (CBF) president Ricardo Teixeira has not been officially informed of the injunction' a CBF spokesman told the Estado news agency adding the trophy would be presented at a ceremony on Monday as planned. However Internacional who finished second after losing 1-0 to Coritiba said they were the legitimate champions and also completed a lap of honour after their match while around 2000 fans gathered in their home city of Porto Alegre to celebrate. Corinthians finished with 81 points from 42 games three more than Internacional in a competition marred by a match-fixing scandal involving referee Edilson Pereira de Carvalho. Carvalho who officiated at 11 matches during the competition was banned for life after admitting he had taken money from a gambling ring to swing results. In October the Brazilian Sporting Tribunal (STJD) ordered the 11 games be replayed amid protests from Internacional who argued that most of the fixtures refereed by Carvalho were unaffected by the scandal. Corinthians who played in two of Carvalho's games and lost both picked up an extra four points in the replays. Internacional were involved in one of Carvalho's games winning both the original and the replay. ORIGINAL RESULTS Had the original results stood Internacional would have won the championship by a point. Earlier on Sunday a judge in the city of Porto Alegre ruled in favour of an Internacional supporter who went to court against the STJD's decision to replay the 11 games. The judge Mauro Borba ruled that the STJD's decision needed to be re-examined and was only provisional. Corinthians dismissed the injunction. 'They forgot to do their part and gave us the championship' said Corinthians coach Antonio Lopes referring to Internacional's defeat. 'We won these four points on the pitch. They're trying to spoil our conquest but they won't do it.' Internacional goalkeeper Clemer disagreed: 'Everyone in Brazil is aware who the real champions are and that is Internacional.' Striker Fernandao said: 'Unfortunately a marvellous championship is going to be decided off the field.' Coach Muricy Ramalho added: 'Corinthians are trying to pass over the law.' GOIAS LEAD Goias took the lead just before halftime through Paulo Baier before goals by Argentine forward Carlos Tevez and Coelho put Corinthians ahead. Goias however hit back with goals from Souza and substitute Romerito to win an entertaining but rough game marred by more than 60 fouls and a Corinthians fan who ran on to the field to hug Tevez. A second-minute penalty scored by Alcimar gave Coritiba their win over Internacional. Despite their victory Coritiba will join Paysandu Atletico Mineiro and Brasiliense in the second division next year if the present positions stand. Thirty-nine-year-old striker Romario finished as the championship's leading scorer after striking twice including one penalty in Vasco da Gama's 3-1 win over Parana. Brazil's 1994 World Cup striker finished with 22 goals one more than Paysandu's Robson who failed to hit the target in his side's 4-1 defeat by Flamengo. Palmeiras joined Corinthians Internacional Goias in next year's Libertadores Cup when they beat Fluminense 3-2 to finish fourth. Fluminense who began the day in fourth spot needing only a draw to qualify for the Cup led 2-1 before a Dejan Petkovic own goal and a Correa free kick which was misjudged by goalkeeper Kleber.


Saturday, September 16