Benfica 'offered prostitutes to referees' as new match-fixing allegations emerge

Jornal Economica claims that emails allegedly leaked by a hacker detail a cosy relationship between Benfica and a former member of the country's top football body.

The European giants and their former legal adviser Paulo Goncalves are both accused of various crimes related to match fixing.

And the latest reports claim that Benfica offered prostitutes and the payment of hotel bills for match officials as they maintained close links with former Portuguese Professional Football League delegate Nuno Cabral.

Goncalves, who left Benfica this week, has been charged with 79 crimes relating to match-fixing, while the club itself faces 30 charges.

Judicial official Jose Silva is also accused of 70 crimes, and is already under house arrest after being taken into custody.

Those crimes are reported to include corruption, personal favouritism, embezzlement and computer fraud.

But Benfica have vowed "dismantle" the "absurd and unjustified imputations."

An official statement read: "We maintain the firmness and clarity of our position, announced as soon as it became public knowledge of this situation, regarding the lack of facts that justify any accusation in this process."

Benfica are currently joint-top of the Primeira Liga table after four games, winning three and drawing once.

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