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President of Palmeiras wants John Textor banned from football

By - 10 June 2024

The president of Palmeiras football club, Leila Pereira, has criticized John Textor, owner of football club Botafogo over his allegations of match – fixing.

Appearing as a witness in the CPI on Match-Fixing and Sports Betting Manipulation Pereira, said that the loss of the Rio team in last year’s Brazilian Championship was “due to his (Textor’s) incompetence . . . I cannot allow anyone to discredit two titles of Palmeiras. You know how difficult it is to win a Brazilian Championship, one of the toughest in the world,” she said.

“I know the work we have done at Palmeiras, the technical staff, players, my work… I cannot let a foreigner come to Brazil and because he lost a title due to his incapacity, and the capacity of Palmeiras, discredit this very important title. My remarks are regarding John Textor’s attitude, not Botafogo and its fans,” she added.

In an interview, Textor claimed to have recordings that would prove corruption in the football refereeing of the Brazilian Football Championship. Textor is an executive from the United States who operates Rio de Janeiro-based club Botafogo through Eagle Football Holdings. Last year, Botafogo lost a 13-point advantage, resulting in them losing the national league title and finishing in fifth place. Textor has alleged that defending champions Palmeiras benefitted from a match-fixing operation. Palmeiras has refuted these claims and has lodged a complaint against Textor at the nation’s highest sports court. Additionally, other teams have hinted at taking legal action in response.

“He needs to prove what he’s saying. Palmeiras filed a police inquiry requesting an investigation into the allegations. If he proves it, okay, people need to be punished; but if he doesn’t prove it, he’s the one who needs to be punished,” said Pereira.

“So far, I haven’t seen any evidence. I have no doubt that John Textor should be banned from football. With these irresponsible, criminal allegations, he affects the entire credibility of this product that is Brazilian football. Penalties need to be severe,” she concluded.

The Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) on Sports Betting (CPiae) was established In April. Senator Romário was chosen as the rapporteur. The presidency and vice-presidency were taken by Senators Jorge Kajuru and Eduardo Girão respectively.

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