In the throes of the 2023 Brasileirao season, Sao Paulo FC grapples with an unexpected predicament. Despite boasting prominent signings like Lucas Moura and James Rodriguez, the team is perilously close to relegation, with just three matches left to change their fate. Presently, Sao Paulo FC languishes in the 10th position, holding just 47 points, a mere six points above the relegation abyss. More concerning is the team's performance on foreign soil, where they've failed to secure victory in 17 outings.
A Crucial Absence and Testing Fixtures Ahead
The upcoming fixtures present a daunting task for Sao Paulo. They will have to face Bahia and then Atlético Mineiro, home to the league's top scorers, without their star player James Rodriguez due to injury. Their final showdown will be at their home ground against Flamengo, a team with title aspirations.
The Specter of Relegation Looms Large
The possibility of Sao Paulo's relegation has raised eyebrows, especially considering their qualification for the Copa Conmebol Libertadores 2024, courtesy of their triumphant Copa de Brasil campaign. The question arises: Will Sao Paulo be permitted to compete in the Libertadores in the event of their relegation?
Brazilian Football Confederation's Stance
However, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) has clarified its stance on the issue. Drawing a parallel to the Palmeiras' situation in 2012, where the team was relegated yet allowed to compete in the 2013 Libertadores, the CBF has confirmed they would respect Sao Paulo's qualification earned through their cup victory. This statement brings a glimmer of hope amidst the gloomy scenario Sao Paulo FC currently finds itself in.