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Porto chief charged over referees investigation - reports

December 08, 2004 11:10 IST

The chairman of European champions Porto was charged on Tuesday with five crimes stemming from an investigation into alleged attempts to influence referees, Portuguese media reported.

A judge charged Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa with two counts of active sports corruption, two of influence-trafficking and one of qualified falsification of documents, Lusa news agency, SIC television and RTP state TV reported.

Pinto da Costa was questioned for 12 hours at a courthouse in Gondomar, a Porto suburb about 300 km (200 miles) north of Lisbon. He left shortly before the end of Porto's 2-1 victory over Chelsea in Champions League Group H, which secured their place in the competition's knockout stages.

Pinto da Costa must pay bail of 125,000 euros and report periodically to police. He must remain in the Porto area and is barred from contact with other suspects and football officials, the reports said.

Pinto da Costa will be free, however, to travel to Japan for Porto's World Club Cup match on Sunday against Colombia's Once Caldas.

He is the highest-level suspect in the police investigation into alleged soccer corruption, dubbed "Golden Whistle". Porto won the Champions League title in May and lead Portugal's Premier League.

Police launched the investigation in April, focusing on the Porto area. At the time, Valentim Loureiro, league chairman and mayor of Gondomar, was named as a suspect in 23 cases.


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