Advertisement

Brazilian soccer clubs protest against American executive over unproven match-fixing claims

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian club Palmeiras filed a complaint against John Textor at the country’s top sports court on Tuesday after the American executive made allegations of match-fixing.

Textor, whose Eagle Football runs top-flight Brazilian club Botafogo, has accused defending champion Palmeiras of being the beneficiary of a match-fixing scheme.

Palmeiras said in a statement that it filed a complaint because of Textor's comments this week claiming that nine players of Fortaleza and Sao Paulo FC were suspicious underperformers in two Brazilian league matches against Palmeiras in the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Both Fortaleza and Sao Paulo FC said Monday night they are considering legal action against Textor.

Botafogo last year squandered a 13-point lead to lose the national league title.

Textor said his claims are based on an artificial intelligence data-driven report he received, but he has refused to give more details about it. A message sent to Botafogo seeking comment from the club or Textor was not answered.

Palmeiras said it wants the American businessman to be fined and suspended. The Sao Paulo-based club added it will “not speak again about the bizarre attempt of the ludicrous soccer executive to justify their loss of the 2023 Brazilian championship.”

Palmeiras won the 2023 title with 70 points, while Botafogo finished fifth with 64 points.

“If the accusations are true, we must applaud him. If they are lies, he should be banned from soccer,” Sen. Jorge Kajuru said Tuesday.

Kajuru, a former sports journalist, also said he is upset by Textor’s refusal to present evidence, but he added that Brazil’s Congress should investigate the accusations.

Eagle Football also has stakes in Premier League club Crystal Palace and seven-time French champion Lyon.

___

AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer