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No place for unfit João Pinto

Published: Thursday 14 November 2002, 15.45CET
There is no place in the latest Portugal squad for João Pinto despite the end of his ban.


Published: Thursday 14 November 2002, 15.45CET

No place for unfit João Pinto

There is no place in the latest Portugal squad for João Pinto despite the end of his ban.

Portugal's caretaker coach Agostinho Oliveira has named a 20-man squad for the friendly international against Scotland on 20 November in Braga, and has decided not to recall João Pinto due to his lack of fitness.

Uncapped duo
João Pinto was suspended until 17 October for punching Argentinian referee Angel Sanchez following his dismissal against the Korean Republic at the FIFA World Cup finals. This is the first time João Pinto has been available for selection since that ban expired, but Oliveira has instead included uncapped midfield players Pedro Mendes and Tiago Pereira. "João Pinto is out because he is [still] getting fit," explained Oliveira. "He is recovering from a long period without playing and it could be harmful for him and for Sporting [Clube de Portugal] if I call him in the middle of his recovery period."

Hunt for foreign coach
There are no players in the squad from FC Porto or Boavista FC as these clubs are in league action two days before the Scotland encounter. The match is likely to be Oliveira's last in charge of the Portuguese national side, after the Portuguese Football Federation chairman Gilberto Madaíl recently announced that he had been asked to find a foreign coach to take charge of the side. However, if Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari accepts the top job, as has been rumoured, Oliveira may stay on as his assistant.

No qualifiers
As tournament hosts Portugal do not have to qualify for UEFA EURO 2004™ so they will be keen for a good showing against the Scots as they try and build a team to compete with Europe’s best in two years’ time.

Portugal squad
Quim, Nelson, Ricardo Rocha, Couto, Ricardo Silva, Rui Jorge, Meira, Ribeiro, Conceição, Rui Costa, Fernandes, Hugo Viana, Figo, Pedro Mendes, Ferreira, Tiago Mendes, Boa Morte, Gomes, Simao, Pauleta.

Last updated: 15/11/02 12.31CET

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