Benfica ‘under investigation for match-fixing’

Benfica “are under investigation in court for MATCH FIXING with the club over charges related to the 2016-2020 period, with Rui Costa being one of the people implicated in the case” after taking over from the disgraced Luis Filipe Vieira in 2021

  • Rui Costa took over the presidency from long-time incumbent Luis Filipe Vieira in 2021
  • The club is under investigation for match-fixing and has appeared in court
  • The investigation stems from prosecutors accessing hacked emails, it has been reported

One of the biggest clubs in Portugal is being investigated for match-fixing, as has become known.

As revealed by the Portuguese press, the charges relate to the period from 2016 to 2020 and have implicated all board members of the club from that period and after.

It comes just a year and a half after longtime Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira was forced to resign in disgrace after being arrested on charges of tax evasion, aggravated fraud, counterfeiting and money laundering.

Benfica are ‘collaborating’ with Portuguese investigators over allegations of match-fixing at the club

In part of the charges against him, he was charged with embezzling funds totaling around £2million along with a co-defendant.

In 2018, Vieira attempted to clear the club’s name after he was accused of corruption by investigators.

“The indictment does not alter our certainty of the full legality of Benfica SAD’s actions and conduct, whether in this or any other proceeding,” said the then-President. He added that “the legal institutions will clear Benfica’s good name”.

The appointment of Rui Costa after the embarrassment of Vieira’s side being forced to resign should usher in a new era of transparency and a clean slate, but recent concerns could further unnerve the club.

The investigation is said to stem from prosecutors’ access to emails accusing the club of benefiting from multiple fraudulent findings during the period covered by the investigation.

The latest charges come just a year and a half after former President Luis Filipe Vieira was forced to resign

The latest charges come just a year and a half after former President Luis Filipe Vieira was forced to resign

Costa, who was initially appointed vice-president for the 2020-2024 four-year tournament before taking the helm, is among members of the club’s hierarchy under investigation, according to the Portuguese press.

The reports of the club facing an investigation were first released in the country’s media before Benfica confirmed the reports.

“Taking into account the news published today, Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol SAD confirms that it appeared in court on January 3, as well as, among others, the members of the Board of Directors from 2016 to 2020 and who are currently in office,” the brief statement of the company.

“Benfica SAD will not comment further as the process is under legal secrecy. Benfica expresses its full willingness to cooperate with the relevant authorities, as has always been the case.’

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Maureen Mackey

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