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Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Friday, 20 June 2008 13:58 UK

Blues slated over Scolari timing

Luiz Felipe Scolari
Scolari led Brazil to glory at the 2002 World Cup

The Portuguese Football Federation has hit out at Chelsea for announcing the capture of Luiz Felipe Scolari during their Euro 2008 campaign.

Scolari's five-year reign as Portugal boss ended in a quarter-final defeat by Germany on Thursday.

FPF chief Gilberto Madail is unhappy Chelsea revealed his appointment just four days into the tournament.

"I wish Chelsea would have consulted us before so that we could have chosen a better time," said the FPF president.

Portugal had high hopes of going all the way at Euro 2008, having reached the final in 2004 and the World Cup semi-finals in 2006.

But after an impressive start to their campaign they were far from their best as they were eliminated by the Germans in Basel.

Madail addressed the media on Friday and admitted he thought the Scolari announcement had had a destabilising effect on the squad.

"It wasn't the best moment for us for Chelsea to announce Scolari's appointment," said Madail.

"I know Scolari had nothing to do with it and I was surprised, not by the appointment - because Scolari is a great coach - but at the timing chosen.

"I knew when we entered the tournament that Scolari would leave. We respected his wishes. His cycle with Portugal had ended because he wanted a new experience with a club.

606: DEBATE
slowstarter

"There was nothing we could do. It was a financial issue and we couldn't match Chelsea's offer."

Chelsea issued a statement defending the timing of the announcement.

"We did everything above board and correctly. It was the appropriate time for both parties to announce and had been agreed in advance. The Portugal football federation were informed."

Portugal have the difficult task of finding a replacement for Scolari as they turn their attentions to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Madail added: "Whether some like it or not, Scolari left a mark in Portuguese football. He is a spectacular coach who made a huge impact and that will remain in the history of Portugal. But life continues.

"The new coach will have to speak Portuguese but not necessarily be Portuguese.

"He has to have ambition and be a winner. He has to be someone who the players respect."

Portugal have also had to deal with the distraction of Cristiano Ronaldo's club situation, with the winger at the centre of persistent rumours throughout the tournament that he will be leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid.

"I don't know what is going on in Ronaldo's mind and I don't think that contract problems would affect a player," said Madail.


see also
Portugal 2-3 Germany
19 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Scolari admits selection mistakes
15 Jun 08 |  Portugal
Ronaldo staying put, say Man Utd
20 Jun 08 |  Man Utd
Scolari shoulders blame for loss
19 Jun 08 |  Portugal
Deco 'to join Scolari's Chelsea'
13 Jun 08 |  Chelsea
Portugal team guide
15 May 08 |  Portugal
Portugal stats and form guide
27 May 08 |  Portugal
Pick your Portugal XI
23 May 08 |  Portugal


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