Sporting Braga’s centenary is the oldest after all the investigators say
An investigation by two members of Braga found documents leading them to conclude that the club, which is celebrating its centenary this year, was founded in 1919, not 1921.
The controversy over the origins of Sporting de Braga is old and advanced history is now already defended by some sectors of members and supporters such as the Foundation, because there are several indications of this, and it is the magazines that Sporting de Braga itself edited to celebrate the “arsenalistas” birthdays of the 1930s.
New is the discovery by João Miguel Fernández and José Bastos Machado of official documents from Sporting de Braga and Braga City Council, which are still unknown within the scope of this debate, and which give “strength to the thesis that the club was founded in 1919”, more precisely on March 20, 1919.
For the authors, 1921 is just the year of its statutory constitution in Braga’s civil government.
In his search for the Centenary Book – The History of Sporting Clube de Braga, which he wrote as part of the club’s centenary celebrations and whose introduction has been delayed due to the covid-19 pandemic, João Miguel Fernandes found material like this that could not be included.
In more detail, he deepened the topic of founding Sporting de Braga with José Bastos Machado, which led to the article appearing in the new volume of Bracara Augusta, a cultural magazine from Braga City Council, to be presented on Friday and which the Lusa agency had access to.
Emphasizing the difference between founding and the constitution, the authors provide copies of the two official documents, which they believe are unknown by club officials, date back to 1926, and were discovered in the archives of the Portuguese Olympic Committee (COP): a letter from Sporting Braga and another from City Council Braga are calling for the status of the club’s utility corporation.
In the letter, the management of Braga stated that “Sporting Club de Braga” is a “sports association founded on 20 March 1919”, and in the same documents the club is attached to a letter from the Administrative Committee of the Braga City Council attesting that Sporting de Braga was organized in 1919.
For authors, these documents “institutionalize” that year as the founding year.
João Miguel Fernández, 52, university professor at the University of Minho, and José Bastos Machado, 69, retired, discovered news from the newspapers Diario de Minho and Us Sports for a football match for the club that happened on June 24, 1920, with Sport Club Caixeiros, and thus before 1921, which they think is the first news of the Sporting de Braga match, which aims to reinforce the 1919 thesis as the year of birth.
In the article, the authors also discuss the hypothesis that in 1914 the soldiers of the arsenal were born, a thesis defended by some members and supporters based on the news in “Echos do Minho” and “Jornal de Notícias” in September of that year about the creation of a club of the same name .
However, “unfortunately, there is no other information about this club, ie the disagreement about the match, so it is more likely that it will have an ephemeral existence, that is, it has disappeared soon after its inception.”
The absence of “documents, news, or references indicating that Braga 1919 is the re-establishment or continuation of Sporting de Braga 1914” and “based on the information available today, it cannot be proven, with a high degree of confidence, they concluded the link between the 1914 and 1919/21 clubs. Although the names match. “