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Porto president banned two years for match-fixing

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 May 2008

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FC Porto president Jorge Pinto da Costa has been suspended for two years and Boavista relegated to the second division for their part in match-fixing, the Portuguese league (LPFP) said on Friday.

Porto were found guilty of fixing two league matches in 2003/04, the same season they won the world's richest club competition, the Champions League.

The President of the LPFP disciplinary committee, Ricardo Costa, added at a press conference in Oporto that the club had also been deducted six league points and fined 150,000 euros. However Porto have already been crowned champions and are 20 points ahead.

Boavista, in ninth spot on 36 points, were relegated for putting pressure on referees during three league matches during 2003 and 2004 and Oporto's second club were also fined 180,000 euros. The club's ex-president, Joao Loureiro, also got a four-year suspension and a 25,000-euro fine.

The third club found guilty of corruption was bottom club Uniao Leiria, who were deducted three points and their president Joao Bartolomeu handed a one-year ban.

The affair initially came to light in April 2004 with numerous officials and referees coming under the spotlight. Five referees were also suspended for periods between two and a half and six years.

Legal sources quoted by the Portuguese press claim the suspension of a sports official means he can no longer sign a contract, represent a club nor sit on the bench at matches as Pinto da Costa, boss of FC Porto since 1982, used to do.

The sanctions, the result of cooperation between disciplinary bodies of the LPFP and the country's justice system, could be the subject of appeals to the Portuguese football federation.

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