Top of the table clash delayed by Portuguese vote

Porto's trip to Sporting Lisbon next month has had to be pushed back more than an hour to avoid a clash with municipal elections.

Published: 16th September 2017 10:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th September 2017 10:47 AM   |  A+A-

Sporting Lisbon fans (File | AP)

By AFP

LISBON: Porto's trip to Sporting Lisbon next month has had to be pushed back more than an hour to avoid a clash with municipal elections, the Portuguese League said on Friday.

The October 1 clash between the top two in the Primeira Liga was due to kick off at 6:00 pm but will now start at 7.15 pm as polling stations will not close until 7:00 pm, the Portuguese League said, citing "security reasons".

Several politicians had spoken out against the original kick-off time, claiming it could affect voting due to the increase in traffic around polling offices situated close to Sporting's Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon.

The Socialist government even mooted in the local press an idea to ban the holding of football matches on election days.

It is not the first time that Portuguese football and politics have been embroiled in an arm wrestle.

In both 2015 and 2016 there was a clash between sporting fixtures and elections but on those occasions the Portuguese League held firm to its original calendar.

Having won all five games so far this season, Sporting and Porto sit two points clear of champions Benfica in the Portuguese league ahead of the weekend fixtures.

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