Portuguese chief faces graft charges

LISBON: Portuguese Professional Football League president Valentim Loureiro was charged with 22 counts on Friday in connection with corruption and influence-peddling among referees, judicial sources said. 

Loureiro, who was suspended from his football league job, was freed on bail of 250,000 euros but placed under house arrest after spending three nights behind bars. 

Police detained 16 people, including nine referees, in dawn raids on Tuesday on “strong indications of the crimes of document falsification, sports corruption and influence peddling”. 

Among those detained were Loureiro, 66, and Antonio Pinto de Sousa, the president of the Portuguese Football Federation’s Council of Referees. 

The detentions came as Portugal was gearing up to host the 16-nation European Championships from June 12 to July 4. – AFP 

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