Botafogo owner reported to Brazilian federal police over match-fixing claims

Kajuru – a senator for the Brazilian state of Goiás – confirmed the report during a senate plenary meeting yesterday (2 April). He said he had outlined his concerns to the federal police in the form of a letter, which he encouraged others in the session to sign.

During the meeting Kajuru outlined Textor’s allegations. Textor had alleged that five players from the São Paulo football club had received bribes from Palmeiras in regards to the Brazilian Championship Series A game, where Palmeiras beat São Paulo 5-0. He also claimed to have evidence to support this.

Kajuru added that one month prior, Textor said he had a recording of a referee that had been collecting bribes.

Kajuru said that he had sent the claims to Andrei Rodrigues, director of the federal police, and had asked the federal police to summon Textor within 24 hours. The senator also requested that Textor bring all available evidence and recordings to back up his claims.

“Because, for me, if he doesn’t bring the evidence and the recordings, he would have to be arrested here tomorrow – cell, handcuffs,” Kajuru explained during the meeting. “Because this is hugely irresponsible, because it’s not just anything, people, it’s Brazilian football, it’s this country’s greatest passion.”

He stated that Textor “must be applauded” and “respected” if the allegations are true. “But, if they are lies, he must be banned from Brazil, arrested and never enter again in the country, because see the irresponsibility of this citizen.”

Betting integrity measures “no longer enough”

Additionally, Kajuru took the opportunity to emphasise the need to implement the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) on Sports Betting – an initiative introduced in December – as soon as possible, requesting that it begin “next week”.

The CPI on Sports Betting was established to investigate accusations of match-fixing in Brazilian sport, covering players, managers and betting operators. It would consist of 11 sitting senators and seven substitutes.

The group is being headed by Senator Romário de Souza Faria and is set to last for 180 days.

The decision to report Textor was met positively by the plenary. Senator Eduardo Girão gave his full support to Kajuru, adding that more needed to be done to prevent match-fixing and betting integrity.

“What is happening with betting is no longer enough,” Girão declared. “We were very careful in the Commission; you accepted amendments and we tried to do something that would protect fans from a tragedy, from debt and from manipulations of the essence of football.”

Girão further stressed the gravity of Textor’s claims by suggesting that this couldn’t wait to be brought in front of the CPI for Sports Betting.

“This is such a serious matter that it cannot even wait for the CPI,” Girão continued. “So, congratulations on your statement, and count on my support in this document to the federal police.”

Brazil igaming and sports betting law just settling in

Textor’s allegations of match-fixing come after Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, legalised sports betting and igaming in the country in December by signing Bill 3,626.

The bill mandates that operators must pay 12% tax on gross gaming revenue (GGR), significantly lower than the previously-decided 18%.

It was approved by Brazil’s chamber of deputies on 21 December, with the re-addition of igaming after it was previously removed. Hopeful licensees needed to submit their expression of interest to Brazil’s ministry of finance by 26 November last year.

The vote to approve the bill was repeatedly delayed – much to the ire of the industry.