The former Rio Ave Leon player confirms he was tempted by Cesar Boaventura in the loss to Benfica, becoming the third Rio Vista player to confirm the businessman's tempting offers in court. In the previous two sessions, Cassio and Marcelo, the player's former teammates on Friday, accused Boaventura of making proposals to help Benfica against Rio Ave in April 2016.
“He asked me to leave my cell phone on the passenger seat of his car. The player at Matosinhos Stadium said the offer was 80,000 euros in 500 banknotes in exchange for a penalty and a sending off during the match. Leon says Boaventura hinted at a move to Spain, and increased the offer to 100 thousand euros after the player’s initial rejection.
At the meeting near Staples in Villa de Conde, Leon says Boaventura asked him to leave his cell phone on the passenger seat and chat outside the car. After weeks of uncertainty over his whereabouts in the eyes of the Portuguese authorities, Ribeirão's current sporting director has finally appeared as a witness in the case in which businessman Cesar Boaventura is on trial.
Although the petition attempt was confirmed, contradictions resurfaced in light of testimony given in 2018. Namely, the fact that Cesar Boaventura clarified whether the money belonged to Luis Felipe Vieira, the former president of Benfica. Six years ago, Leon said yes. This was not mentioned on Friday. The exact date of delivery of the grooming attempt has also not been agreed upon, with the player citing contradictory versions.
The judge refuses to suspend the proceedings
Since Cesar Boaventura has two cases pending in court and because there is an impact on the possible ruling, the businessman's lawyer, Carlos Melo Alves, requested that this corruption case be suspended, in order to await the first ruling in Operation Malapatta. This request was rejected by the panel of judges that respected the case.
Carlos Melo Alves also asked the court to question the current president of Famalicao, Miguel Ribeiro, who at the time was Rio Ave's sporting director. The club's former director, Antonio Campos, was also called to testify alongside the lawyer. For the second time, the judge rejected Cesar Boaventura's defense request, considering that the witnesses had no direct involvement in the facts analyzed. Milo Alves still protests the decision, claiming that the client has been deprived of his right to take contradictory actions, but the collective has maintained the decision.
According to the accusation, Boaventura approached Lyon with an offer worth 80,000 euros that would come from Luis Felipe Vieira, a few days before the match between Rio Ave and Benfica. To receive this amount, Lyon must “punish him with a yellow card in the first half, intentionally take a penalty kick and send him off in the second half, and hit his hand on the ground.” The amount of 80,000 euros will be paid in the form of 500 banknotes after the match.
The Public Prosecution demands the exemplary punishment
In the process, suspicions are raised that businessman Cesar Boaventura lured Rio Ave players Marcelo, Cassio and León, as well as Bahar Salin, into matches against Benfica in the 2015/2016 season, the time in which the “Eagles” won the title. Third tournament. The Public Ministry (MP) charged César Boaventura with three crimes of active corruption and one crime of active corruption in the form of an attempt.
The Public Prosecution requested that the accused be convicted of all crimes, considering that the sentence against Cesar Boaventura should serve as an example and be a deterrent in similar cases in the future.
Carlos Melo Alves points out the contradictions that appeared in the players' testimonies, recalling that Cassio and Marcelo were already accused in another case related to sports manipulation. The lawyer says: “These statements are suspicious. These two citizens have some interest here because they are being investigated in another process that analyzes lies in football matches.”
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