Benfica appoint Portugal football legend Rui Costa as new president following ARREST of club chief Luis Filipe Vieira on grounds of alleged tax fraud and money laundering
- Portuguese giants Benfica have appointed ex-player Rui Costa as president
- Rui Costa steps in to replace Luis Filipe Vieira following his recent arrest
- Vieira has been suspended after allegations of tax fraud and money laundering
- Benfica partners call for an election meaning Rui Costa is likely to be interim
Portuguese giants Benfica have appointed former player Rui Costa as the new club president to replace Luis Filipe Vieira, who suspended his duties after he was arrested and detained as part of an investigation into alleged tax fraud and money laundering.
In a statement, Benfica said Rui Costa, 49, currently the vice president of the country’s most popular club, takes over as president ‘with immediate effect, under the terms of the club’s statutes’.
‘This appointment had the unanimous support of all members of the board of Benfica,’ it said.
Portuguese giants Benfica have appointed ex-player Rui Costa as president this week
Former midfielder Rui Costa, who retired from international football after the 2004 European Championships, spent most of his career with Lisbon-based Benfica and with Italian giants Fiorentina and, most famously, AC Milan.
Vieira, re-elected in October last year, was taken into custody on Wednesday for questioning over alleged deals worth more than £85million (100 million euros) that may have caused large losses to the state and several companies.
Rui Costa replaces Luis Filipe Vieira following his recent arrest after tax fraud allegations
Rui Costa is expected to remain in an interim role as president until elections are called
The suspension of his role as president of the club and of Benfica SAD, which manages the professional football business, came into force ‘with immediate effect’, his lawyer Manuel Magalhaes e Silva told reporters earlier on Friday.
But, Magalhaes e Silva added, ”a suspension (of duties) is not a resignation.’
The prosecutors’ office alleged that Vieira’s offences included fraud, money laundering and forgery.
Three more people, not named by the prosecutor, were also detained.
Vieira is to appear before a judge on Friday.
The Portugal legend takes on the role during a very delicate time for Benfica
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