Vic­to­ries threaten club’s record for los­ing

The Guardian Weekly - - Diversions - Sam Cowie

The Brazil­ian foot­ball club Íbis Sport hadn’t won a match for two years. Now the self-styled “worst team in the world”, which plays in the low­est di­vi­sion of the Per­nam­buco state cham­pi­onship, has three con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries.

But far from wel­com­ing this sud­den re­ver­sal of for­tune, some fans claim the club’s roots and iden­tity are at stake.

Fol­low­ing a re­cent 1-0 vic­tory against Fer­roviário do Cabo, fans stormed a lo­cal bar where the play­ers were en­joy­ing a bar­be­cue to de­mand: please stop win­ning.

“This is de­stroy­ing our his­tory,” said protest leader, Nilsinho Filho.

Other fans went on so­cial me­dia to com­plain, or call for res­ig­na­tions. “This is a wor­ry­ing sit­u­a­tion in the long term. To stop be­ing an icon and to be just an­other win­ning team. It’s the coach’s fault,” read a typ­i­cal tweet.

Be­tween 1980 and 1984, the team went three years and 11 months with­out win­ning a game, and en­tered the Guin­ness Book of Records as “the worst club in the world”.

The club’s for­mer mid­fielder, Mauro Sham­poo, boasts that he scored just one goal in 10 years, and has also crit­i­cised the re­cent vic­to­ries. “If we keep win­ning, we are go­ing to lose our brand,” he said.

Nilsinho Filho claimed that even if the club is pro­moted, Íbis Sport has claimed its place in his­tory.

“Even if we go on to win the Brazil­ian cham­pi­onship one day, no one will ever be able to take our ti­tle as the worst team in the world,” he said.

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