Braga manager ejected from plane at Faro
Outspoken Braga manager Ricardo Sá Pinto was removed from his flight yesterday.
Sá Pinto, who joined Braga at the start of the season, was on a Ryanair plane when the event took place.
He was heading from Faro to Porto at the time, but soon became embroiled in an altercation with a flight attendant.
Sitting right at the front of the plane, Sá Pinto is said to have had his legs outstretched when the steward asked him to tuck them in.
Sá Pinto refused the request, citing the fact that he had suffered numerous injuries during his playing career and purposefully booked a seat at the front of the aircraft to ensure he had additional leg room.
He was also asked to turn his phone off, something that he says he did immediately, though other reports run counter to that and suggest he wanted to make a phone call first.
After much deliberation, the air crew decided they had little choice but to have Sá Pinto removed from the airplane, the police arriving to escort him off.
His arrest was greeted with applause from some of the other passengers on the flight as Sá Pinto argued with someone in the vicinity.
He has already made clear that he is to launch a lawsuit against the airplane company.
In a statement, he says that the chief air steward “had an arrogant and rude attitude” and that their behavior was “absolutely reprehensible.”
The statement also explained the ordeal in some detail: “When booking the ticket, he (Sá Pinto) booked his seat in the front row of the plane and paid the required seat fee.”
“Such a seat reservation is due to the impossibility of keeping his knee bent during flight time due to severe knee injuries sustained as a football player.”
“Having his leg straightened by his physical limitation, he was ordered by the flight attendant to bend his legs and it was explained to him that it was impossible to do so, which is why he acquired that seat.”
Given this explanation, the crew refused to start the flight, which forced the removal of the passenger Ricardo Sá Pinto.”