Following the review of communications by prosecutors, it was discovered that Benfica is currently under investigation for match-fixing from 2016 until 2020.
Numerous issues have surrounded the Portuguese club in recent years, forcing longtime president Luis Filipe Vieira to step down in the summer of 2021.
After a civil action was brought by attorney and club member Jorge Mattamaouros, who kept good on his promise to drop the charges if Vieira resigned as president, he was detained on suspicion of tax evasion, aggravated fraud, forgery, and money laundering.
He is currently under investigation for manipulating matches in that time period, along with every other board member from 2016 to 2020, including the current president Rui Costa, who took over for him after serving as vice-president.
According to reports in the Portuguese media, the club is charged with profiting from a number of faked results. These allegations are based on hacked emails that prosecutors accessed and studied, which reportedly indicate that they did so repeatedly.
Despite appearing in court and publicly confirming the investigation’s existence, Benfica has remained silent on the subject.
A statement read:
“Taking into account the news made public, 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.”
If found guilty of match-fixing, the repercussions would be severe; Juventus suffered a similar fate in 2006 and was heavily punished, had its titles removed, and was relegated.
Between 2016 and 2020, Benfica won eight trophies, including three league crowns; as a result, they are now in danger of losing a sizable number of honors.
Additionally, the people under investigation, including Costa given his significant participation during that time, may face charges and get prison terms.
It’s also feasible that the club won’t face any athletic consequences; instead, only fines and individual offenders would likely face punishment from the law.