Lisbon: Portugal coach Carlos Queiroz has called Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson as a witness in his defence against charges of insulting Portuguese anti-doping agents before the World Cup, Queiroz’s lawyer told reporters on Tuesday.
The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) is investigating allegations Queiroz insulted anti-doping doctors during a surprise visit to the World Cup training camp in May, with local media reports saying the episode could cost the coach his job.
Lawyer Rui Patricio said Queiroz, who was Ferguson’s assistant at Manchester United before becoming Portugal coach in 2008, has also called former international Luis Figo and the club presidents of Porto and Benfica among other witnesses.
He added the witnesses were expected to be heard by the FPF’s disciplinary committee from 2:30 (2:30 pm BST) on Tuesday.
“We’re trying to see if the witness statements can be made in person, but we only had four days to present our defence document, which we delivered on Monday, and then 24 hours to present witnesses. It’s a little bit tight,” Patricio said.
The lawyer said Queiroz had admitted to exchanging harsh words with the anti-doping doctors but not to insulting them.
“It constitutes no insults, it was a mere airing of his annoyance at having the players’ rest disturbed. He did not obstruct any anti-doping activity,” Patricio said.
The FPF’s disciplinary committee is expected to send its judgement to the federation directors this week. If they find Queiroz guilty of obstructing the agents, they may suspend him for a period of up to two years and fire him citing just cause.
Former Real Madrid coach Queiroz has two years of his contract to run with the national team. He guided the side to the second round of the World Cup finals, but was criticised for his defensive tactics after they were knocked out by Spain.
Queiroz has said the inquiry has been handled incorrectly and he may complain to world soccer’s governing body FIFA if the case harms him.
“The coach is committed to taking this matter to the final jurisdictions and consequences. That includes everything that is within his legal reach,” Patricio said.