Scolari urged to run for prime minister

LISBON: Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari was being urged on Monday to run for prime minister in dozens of posters plastered across Lisbon one day after he wrapped up the national team's most successful campaign at a major football tournament. 

The black-and-white posters feature a picture of the moustachioed Brazilian, popularly known here as “the sergeant”, raising both hands in the air as if he were speaking at a campaign rally above the slogan “Felipe Scolari for Prime Minister of Portugal”. 

The posters, which display a Portuguese flag on the bottom, offered no clues as to who was behind the campaign. 

Scolari has become a national hero in Portugal after he managed to lead Portugal to the Euro 2004 final two, just 18 months after he took over the underperforming national squad. 

While Portugal lost the Euro 2004 final against Greece 1-0 on Sunday in Lisbon, fans across the country still celebrated the fact that the squad had reached the final of a major football final for the first time. 

The successful football campaign comes as Portugal is in the midst of a political crisis following Prime Minister Jose Manuel Durao Barroso's announcement last week that he would be stepping down to become the next president of the European Commission. 

President Jorge Sampaio was asked by reporters last week if he would consider appointing Scolari as prime minister to replace Durao Barroso. “It is not an option on the table, I don't even plan on consulting him,” he joked in reply. – AFP  

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