FC Porto were far from amused at having to spend the night in the Algarve on Sunday after their 5-1 victory over Portimonense due to Faro Airport refusing to extend its opening hours to accommodate the club.
The game kicked off at 20:15 local time and Porto had intended to depart the same evening to return to the city in the north of Portugal but were denied in their request by airport authorities.
FC Porto director: "We only asked them for 45 minutes"
In a statement made to the Portuguese press on Wednesday, Porto’s director of communications, Francisco J. Marques, accused Faro Airport’s director of security, Francisco Gomes, of displaying a “hostile and discriminatory” attitude towards the club: “Our intention was to return after the game and we had chartered an aircraft to take us back. It’s a period of the season when there are a lot of fixtures and we were informed that the airport closed at midnight. We asked them to make an exception and we intended to depart at half past twelve. It was at the very least a strange decision. We are in our own country and we only wanted to head back to rest.”
Marques noted that in Munich exceptions are made for visiting sides in the Champions League, as was the case with Porto three years ago. “In Germany they have very strict legislation and the airport closes at 23:00 because of the noise. The Bavarian government gives authorisation in these cases so that teams playing Bayern can leave up to 01:30, two and a half hours later. We only asked [Faro] for 45 minutes.”