Porto vow to 'cooperate with justice' amid wide-scale tax fraud probe

By Sports Desk March 04, 2020

Porto vowed to "cooperate with justice" after confirming they were subject to searches by the Central Criminal Investigation Court as part of a wide-scale probe into alleged tax fraud and money laundering.

A statement from Portugal's Attorney General's Office on Wednesday said 76 searches were taking place, "including house searches, namely in several football clubs, respective companies and managers, law firms and intermediary agents".

The release added the operation relates to an investigation that began in 2015, probing alleged actions "aimed at avoiding the payment of tax benefits owed to the Portuguese states through concealment or alteration values".

Porto confirmed the club and the chairman of the board of directors, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, were subject to searches and promised to aid the investigation.

"FC Porto - Football, SAD, FC Porto Comercial and its chairman of the Board of Directors confirm that they were targets of searches promoted by the Central Criminal Investigation Court," a club statement read.

"As always, they're cooperating with justice."

A number of other Portuguese top-flight clubs are said to be involved in the investigation. 

Related items

  • Barcelona is Barcelona - Umtiti not ready to leave Camp Nou despite Lyon interest Barcelona is Barcelona - Umtiti not ready to leave Camp Nou despite Lyon interest

    Samuel Umtiti has revealed he held talks with Lyon during the transfer window but did not want to leave Barcelona on bad terms.

    After a promising start at the club following his 2016 switch from Lyon - where he had spent the previous 14 years - Umtiti has struggled for form and fitness, particularly since the start of 2018-19.

    He has made 77 LaLiga appearances for the Catalan giants and ranks highly for interceptions since 2016-17 began, averaging 1.73 per game - behind only Jordi Alba (2.09) among those still at the club.

    A return to Lyon was on the cards during the close season but Umtiti would rather turn things around at Camp Nou first.

    "Everything was possible during the transfer window," he told Canal+. "Lyon is my club and my city. They gave me the opportunity to be seen.

    "There were discussions, but it was quick, nothing concrete. I had to be able to speak with a club. I'll be honest: Barcelona is Barcelona.

    "I don't want to leave Barcelona and even less like that."

    Umtiti has been blighted by persistent knee problems over the past couple of seasons and has yet to feature under new Barca boss Ronald Koeman.

    However, the 26-year-old is hopeful his injury issues are now a thing of the past after a change of lifestyle.

    "The last two years have been the most complicated of my career," he said. "Sometimes I got really sick of it. I relapsed each time, and with different injuries because I was trying to compensate.

    "It wasn't a knee problem, it was that I had a total imbalance. I had to start over. I stopped eating meat, fish and milk. I feel better, I sleep better. I have never felt so good physically.

    "My body has also changed. I have lost three kilos. I have recovered. I have never worked so hard. And I'm happy about it."

    Umtiti now intends to rival fellow France international Clement Lenglet for a regular starting spot alongside Gerard Pique in the heart of Barca's backline.

    "He occupies my position for Barcelona and the French team," he said. "It doesn't bother me at all. On the contrary - I encourage him and there is a very good understanding between us.

    "We could play together. But, I think he knows it: when I come back, I will do anything to get back to my place and to play. But there is no jealousy between us."

    Umtiti is not the only French player struggling to make an impact in Catalonia, with Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele also facing regular criticism.

    "We have all lived through complicated times," the defender said. "Everyone puts knives behind our backs and wants to kill us. But, between us, we try to laugh in order to smile again."

  • Pirlo unimpressed by Juventus' lack of intensity during Verona draw Pirlo unimpressed by Juventus' lack of intensity during Verona draw

    Juventus head coach Andrea Pirlo was frustrated his Juventus side only started playing with intensity after they had fallen behind in their 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona on Sunday. 

    Having had just one shot on target in an insipid first half, Serie A champions Juve fell behind on the hour-mark when Verona's Andrea Favilli slotted home from 15 yards. 

    Juve – winless in two consecutive Serie A games against Verona for the first time since 1989 – stormed back through substitute Dejan Kulusevski's equaliser 13 minutes from time and created a number of excellent opportunities in the closing stages without converting.

    Pirlo's Juve ended the game having had 22 shots but the Italian boss was not impressed that the hosts needed a "slap in the face" to start carving out chances.

    "Our first half wasn't aggressive enough. We waited for them and yet we created the best chances," he told Sky Sport Italia.

    "We reacted well after they took the lead, but we shouldn't need a slap in the face to wake up and play with intensity. When you play against Verona or Atalanta, it's difficult because they take you one-on-one all over the field and create many duels. 

    "We worked to avoid their high press and that worked better in the second half. It's tough against them, but we could've done better."

    The result moves Juve up to fifth – three points behind leaders Milan, who have played a game fewer – while Verona remain in eighth position.

    Juve host LaLiga giants Barcelona in a mouth-watering Champions League clash on Wednesday before travelling to Spezia in Serie A on Sunday.

     

  • Los Angeles FC 2-0 LA Galaxy: LAFC claim bragging rights in El Trafico Los Angeles FC 2-0 LA Galaxy: LAFC claim bragging rights in El Trafico

    Los Angeles FC earned bragging rights in El Trafico after seeing off struggling 10-man neighbours LA Galaxy 2-0 in MLS.

    LAFC claimed derby honours in Los Angeles thanks to second-half goals from Danny Musovski and star Carlos Vela on Sunday.

    The Galaxy – without stuttering former Manchester United and Real Madrid forward Javier Hernandez – were dealt a blow in the 25th minute when centre-back Giancarlo Gonzalez was red carded after denying a goal-scoring opportunity.

    Referee Kevin Stott had initially awarded a penalty and shown Gonzalez a yellow card before VAR intervened, with Diego Rossi brought down just outside the box as the Galaxy defender saw red.

    LAFC had gone 238 minutes without scoring against the Galaxy – having averaged a goal every 28.6 minutes in the first seven derbies – but that drought ended courtesy of Musovski's 58th-minute opener at Banc of California Stadium, the forward getting on the end of Rossi's throughball.

    Vela came off the bench with 20 minutes remaining for his first appearance since August 22 due to a medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury.

    The reigning MVP capped his long-awaited comeback for the Supporters' Shield holders with a goal in the third minute of stoppage time, taking Vela to 23 goals from his previous 22 MLS matches at Banc of California Stadium.

    With the result, LAFC are fourth in the Western Conference and five points adrift of leaders Sporting Kansas City, while the Galaxy remain rooted to the foot of the table.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.