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Referee Joao Pinheiro, former La Liga delegate Nuno Cabral, denied it

Referee Joao Pinheiro, former La Liga delegate Nuno Cabral, denied it


He admitted that he had asked to review the memorandum but was unaware that it had been forwarded to Paulo Gonçalves.

Another session of the Benfica emails case trial took place on Tuesday, which was marked by the presence of referee Joao Pinheiro in court as a witness in the case of defendants Francisco J. Marquez, Diogo Faria and Julio Magalhaes.

Since the morning session, Joao Pinheiro confirmed that he was the author of several emails to the then league delegate, Nuno Cabral, that were included in the process, and which later reached Paulo Gonçalves, Benfica’s legal advisor. In the previous hearing, on October 25, 2022, Nuno Cabral stated that he did not interfere in the email exchange with Pinheiro, something the court understood it wanted to clarify in this call from the judge.

“This email is mine,” said João Pinheiro at one point. As Porto Canal, from which the aforementioned emails were released to the public in 2017 by Francisco J. Marquez, recalls, “The referee had turned to Nuno Cabral in order to obtain the assistance of Paulo Gonçalves, then legal director of Benfica, to review the rating of the game that Moreirense pitted against Belenensis”. Joao Pinheiro yesterday assumed it was normal to “send match reports” but stressed that he never did it “until they turn it over to someone”. When I send [relatórios]Don’t expect feedback. I also send it to the rulers of the region. Nuno Cabral never asked me for a specific report and I didn’t expect him to forward it.” He added that the judges’ ratings at the end of the season are relevant because João Pinheiro also noted that moving to a lower weight class is “too big” on the financial issue.

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He also heard from Carlos Fonseca, a delegate of the League who recalled a case in which he said he lived with the former Benfica president. “In 2012/13, in the first half between Benfica and F. Guimarães, Luis Felipe Vieira appeared screaming in the technical area, protesting with the referees,” he said. This element confirmed that Vieira had been on the phone with someone and then said that “Engineer Fidalgo asked not to put anything in the report,” an order he accepted but was nonetheless “removed” from his duties.