Seven days before the end of the competition, Girabola, the name of the Angolan championship, has been suspended “temporarily” due to the threat of the referees to strike!
“Without consensus and given the fact that the FAF [Federação Angolana de Futebol] does not have the financial conditions to respond to the requests of the referees, the Girabola 2021/2022 is temporarily suspended,” reads the statement issued by the entity that governs the king’s sport in Angola.
According to the Association of Football Referees of Angola (AAFA), the judges have not been paid since the 14th round and many of them go to matches alone, having already taken out several loans.
Also according to AAFA, the amount due is 150 million kwanzas, or approximately €300,000, which concerns games, transport, accommodation and food prices.
“In fact, there are many difficulties with the non-payment of the sums in question, but the FAF is looking for a solution to the problem”, declared, in turn, Evaristo Sales, president of the Provincial Council of Referees of Luanda (CPAL ), who did not expect the championship to be suspended. “I believed it would be possible to reach an agreement, like paying 50% of the debt before the start of the 24th round. [agendada para o fim de semana]. But it seems that it was not possible,” lamented Evaristo Sales.
Seven days from the end, Girabola is led by Petro, a Luanda club whose main team is coached by Portuguese Alexandre Santos, a 45-year-old coach, with 54 points, four more than the vice-champion, the Sagrada Esperança (which has more one game, 22, than Petro de Luanda).
Still on the table will be, according to the Angolan press, the possibility that this edition of Girabola will be… canceled!