The harum-scarum all began in 1987 when the Brazil Football Federation (CBF) were unable to properly fund the championship, leading to 13 clubs, including Flamengo, starting a breakaway league.

The scenario at the time led to two leagues running concurrently, with Recife side Sport winning one and Rio giants Flamengo the other.

However, Flamengo rejected the chance to play off for the title and the two clubs have been arguing over who are the rightful champions since.

But on Tuesday, a 30-year-old controversy was put to bed after Brazil’s Supreme Court decided that north-eastern club Sport were the rightful winners of the 1987 Brazilian league, bringing an end to a protracted battle with rivals Flamengo.

“Justice has decided once again that 1987 belongs only to the Leao,” Sport said on their web site, referring to the team’s nickname.

“Sport are still the 1987 Brazilian champions, just as they were 30 years ago.”

Tuesday’s court ruling is the final verdict on the case.


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