Victory with Rio Ave guarantees promotion and dispenses with the play-off with the third in the Bwin League. In the city, it is believed that Vítor Campelos’ side will be able to do without the suspense of two more games.
In Chaves there is hope in the return of the Trás-os-Montes emblem to the main championship – and there are also those who sigh, sad, trying to conform to the impossibility of watching the match with Rio Ave in Arcos. This is the case of Armindo Vieira, 45 years old. Like many of his compatriots, he leads the life of an immigrant. “11 years ago,” he shivered and now lives in Solothurn, Switzerland. He made accounts on the Liga SABSEG calendar and took a vacation to watch the last two rounds. This is not the only one. During these days, he met other emigrants in the city who had come with the same idea and today find themselves condemned to a distance that gnaws at them all year round. “I don’t have a ticket.”
The controversy over entries for this match between candidates for the Bwin League has reached those who have made the most sacrifices to be at this time in the club. There are only 200 visitors, or 5% of capacity, as required by regulations, after an initial indication that there would be 687, although they are rare because the site is under construction. “It’s a bit sad,” laments partner 521, who even suspected “already” that something like this could happen, “because of the works”. Risked the trip. It was up to him to live on the bench the return trip which had a penalty in the mountains in the last moments. “I had pain, I had pain,” he recalls, still unsure whether he will return to the stadium to watch the match on a giant screen or if he will stay in a café. What he really wants is for this to be the end point of this saga. “I didn’t want to see games on TV anymore. It was a sign that we were going up.”
There, next to the municipal stadium, on the corner next to the market, Nady Brito also accepts and welcomes this change of plans imposed by the impossibility of being in Arcos. The S. Neutel pastry shop is an obligatory corner for those who do not want to miss the pastries of Chaves served with a nice and friendly touch on the other side of the counter, where this university student born in Cape Verde and pivot of futsal from Chaves the team is enthusiastic when talking about the “excellent work” of Vítor Campelos. With him, “the team started playing with the ball”. “It’s not just a kick forward, even if sometimes it has to be like that, but beautiful football to watch”, she defends herself, prepared for the waves of customers that Sunday promises: buses for Vila do Conde leave from there and malte wants to go with a warm stomach; then there will be those watching the game in the stadium and 28-year-old Nady won’t have time to worry about the final result. With the accountancy course to be finished, in Bragança, perhaps he won’t stay to see what his fellow pastry chefs told him, that “the city was different, it had life, many people came to see matches”, when the team was at the top level, but the link is not lost: “I have been with this club since I arrived, I can say that I am from Chaves”.
In the center of the city, in the heart of the Jardim das Freiras, which has become a square, when the green has given way to paving, Andreia Machado, 32, lives football out of sympathy. Not having the patience to sit on the couch watching the ball, he focuses on the conversations of “homecoming men”, he laughs. “Two children and her husband” live in Chaves and she heard them say “I should have won on Sunday”, but where they see a team of men she sees something else: “This is our land”. There, more solidarity from the women of Trás-os-Montes. Sara doesn’t want photos, but says she already has football on her agenda: “I’m going to Tondela!” The husband is from the city of Beira, whose emblem plays permanence and they will be there on the bench – it’s not even worth mentioning that clubs from their home can still cross paths in the permanence play-off/ improvement ; solidarity has limits and no one wants to test them. The party is urgent.