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08th Jan 2023

Benfica under investigation for match fixing over five-year period

Callum Boyle


The alleged match fixing took place between 2016 to 2020

Benfica are under investigation for match fixing, which allegedly took place between 2016 to 2020. The charges against them include all of the club’s board members from that period and those that have stayed on since.

The allegations come less than two years after Benfica’s disgraced long-term president Luis Filipe Vieira was forced to resign after being arrested on charges relating to tax evasion, aggravated fraud, forgery and money laundering.

One of the charges saw him accused of embezzling funds, alongside a fellow defendant, which amounted to £2m, as reported by the Daily Mail.

Rui Costa’s appointment in the aftermath was supposed to be hailed as the start of a new era however the latest news has made more cause for concern at the Portuguese club.

Following an investigation, prosecutors were given access to emails, with the club allegedly benefiting from several fraudulent results. Costa – who was appointed as vice-president in 2020 for four years before taking on the lead role – is one of those under investigation, according to local media. Costa book-ended his playing career with Benfica, having won acclaim with Fiorentina and AC Milan in Serie A. He played 94 times for the Portuguese national team.

Benfica have won the Primeira Liga a record 37 times and twice won the European Cup in the early 1960s.


Benfica ‘confirms that it appeared in court’

Local media initially reported that Benfica were under investigation before the club themselves were forced to release a statement, confirming the reports.

A statement said: “Taking into account the news made public 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.

“Benfica SAD will not comment further as the trial is under legal secrecy. Benfica expresses its total willingness to collaborate with the competent authorities, as has always happened up to now.

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