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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Sporting to Play

LISBON () -- After 10 days of protests and threats, second-place Sporting Lisbon has hung up its arguments and prepared to play the final two minutes of its First Division match against Chaves, interrupted Dec. 30 by a power outage.


On Thursday, Sporting will travel 440 kilometers to the northern city of Chaves and play for 120 seconds to try to break the 1-1 tie.


Stung by the prospect of a draw against bottom-ranked Chaves, the Lisbon team tried in vain to denounce the referee's decision to suspend the game when the lights went out in the 88th minute at Chaves Municipal Stadium.


Club president Pedro Santana Lopes, a former politician with a sharp tongue, contended that the referee should have waited the regulation maximum 30 minutes to decide to end the interrupted match instead of just 15 minutes.


He also said that Chaves was to blame for the power outage and an attack by fans on Sporting goalkeeper Paulo Costinha while the lights were out.


Sporting said these were sufficient reasons either to be granted a victory or to replay the entire match. But the Portuguese soccer watchdog commission ruled on completing the two minutes.