Brazilian club Botafogo relegated for just the second time in 110 years
SAO PAULO // Traditional Rio de Janeiro club Botafogo was relegated to the second division of the Brazilian league after a 2-0 loss at Santos on Sunday.
Former Brazil striker Leandro Damiao scored twice in the second half to give Santos the win and seal Botafogo’s demotion for the second time in its 110-year history. The two-time Brazilian champion also played in the second division in 2003.
With one round left, Botafogo is second-to-last in the 20-team standings with 33 points. It is six points behind Palmeiras, the first team outside the relegation zone. The bottom four clubs are demoted.
Botafogo needed to beat Santos to remain with hopes of escaping relegation, but it lost for the sixth time in a row after Damiao scored in the 49th and 90th minutes at the Vila Belmiro Stadium in Santos.
“There’s not much to say,” Botafogo defender Andre Bahia said. “It’s just sad. We fought hard but it wasn’t enough.”
One of the top four teams in Rio de Janeiro, Botafogo has struggled financially in recent years and hasn’t been able to pay players’ salaries on time. The club’s president drew criticism after he released some of its best players a few months ago, saying they were not providing good leadership.
“It’s tough with everything that we’ve had to go through this year, but what happened off the field shouldn’t be an excuse for our poor performances,” defender Regis said.
“The fans didn’t deserve this, we have to apologize. We are ashamed.”
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Published: December 1, 2014 04:00 AM