The defendants Paulo Silva, João Gonçalves and Gonçalo Rodrigues will be tried for active corruption offenses in the “Cashball affair”, decided the Criminal Investigation Court (TIC) of Porto.
According to the investigative decision, to which the Lusa agency had access this Friday, Paulo Silva will answer for three crimes of active corruption, two in the aggravated form, with João Gonçalves and Gonçalo Rodrigues to answer for one, also in the worse form.
At stake is a case around Sporting handball, with João Gonçalves, a sports entrepreneur, Gonçalo Rodrigues, a former employee of the “lions”, and Paulo Silva summoned to court.
“Between January 2017 and September 2017, the defendants drew up a plan according to which they would intercede with the referee judges appointed for the aforementioned handball championship matches, in which Sporting was a competitor, so that it would be given an unfair advantage in the judgments of ‘application of technical and disciplinary rules’, one can read in the pedagogical decision.
In exchange for money, João Gonçalves and Paulo Silva would also have another plan to act with football players, from the League I and the Portuguese Cup, for the same favor.
The investigative decision describes several events that indicate attempts to bribe players and referees, who will now be tried, in a case that dates back to 2018 and searches in the “léonine” SAD.
The trial even included other defendants, including André Geraldes, then sporting director of Sporting, but neither this businessman, until the end of this season in front of Estrela da Amadora, nor the club were put in cause.
In addition to the applicable criminal framework, João Gonçalves could see the ancillary penalty of disqualification from carrying out a sports entrepreneur activity applied, the three being able to lose “benefits linked to the crimes”.
The defendants were indicted by the Public Prosecutor (MP), but requested the opening of an investigation, an optional phase which aims to decide by a criminal investigating judge whether the trial continues and how to judgement.