By Finley Crebolder
It was revealed that Benfica are currently being investigated for match-fixing from 2016 to 2020 following prosecutors’ examination of the emails.
The Portuguese club has been embroiled in a lot of controversy in recent years, with longtime president Luis Filipe Vieira forced to step down in the summer of 2021.
He was arrested on charges of tax evasion, aggravated fraud, forgery and money laundering after lawyer and club member Jorge Mattamaouros filed a civil suit, who made good on his promise to drop the charges if Vieira resigned as president.
Now, along with all the other board members from 2016 to 2020, including current chairman Rui Costa, who replaced him after he was vice chairman, he is now under investigation for match fixing during that time.
It has been reported in the Portuguese press that the club is accused of benefiting from several manipulated results. Those allegations stem from compromised emails accessed and reviewed by prosecutors, who reportedly suggest they did so on multiple occasions.
Benfica appeared in court and publicly confirmed the existence of the investigation, but said no more about it.
“Taking into account the news made public, Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol SAD confirms that it appeared before the 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 ”, it is reads in a statement.
“Benfica SAD will not comment further as the trial is under judicial secrecy. Benfica expresses its total willingness to collaborate with the competent authorities, as has always happened up to now.”
If found guilty of match fixing, the consequences would be substantial, con Juventus being heavily fined, stripped of his titles and demoted when he suffered a similar fate in 2006.
Benfica won eight trophies between 2016 and 2020, including three league titles, so they are now in danger of missing out on a significant amount of honours.
Furthermore, the suspects including Costa, given his leading role in that period, could be denounced and sentenced to prison.
It is also possible that no sports sanctions will be imposed on the club with fines and only individuals will be punished by the authorities.
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as The allegations of match-fixing that are shaking Benfica.