match-fixing is a “reality”, denounces John Textor, owner in particular of the Lyon and Botafogo clubs

Heard by a Senate committee responsible for investigating possible match-fixing in Brazil, John Textor, the American owner of the Brazilian club Botafogo and Olympique Lyonnais, denounced the “manipulation of results” in football, Monday at Brasilia (Brazil).

France Télévisions – Sports Editorial


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John Textor, owner of several football clubs, heard in the Brazilian Senate, April 22, 2024. (MATEUS BONOMI / AFP)

“What we discovered in Brazil is no different from the rest of the world, in Belgium, in France, in all of Europe”. Before the Brazilian Senate, John Textor, owner of several football clubs including Botagofo (Brazil) and Olympique Lyonnais, affirmed, Monday April 22, that “manipulation of results” in football was “a reality”. Heard for three hours by this commission chaired by former player and current senator Romario, the boss of Eagle Foot notably denounced the way in which the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) selected referees.

For this, he repeated that he wanted to rely on artificial intelligence (AI) which, according to him, “allows images to be analyzed with more precision than humans”. Owner of Botafogo since March 2022, John Textor has repeatedly denounced supposed corruption in Brazilian football, saying he was harmed by the alleged fixing of certain matches, without however providing proof until then. Last season, his club Botafogo, long at the top of the championship, finally lost the title to Palmeiras, crowned for the second year in a row.

Prosecuted by Brazilian justice

“We will irrefutably demonstrate that Palmeiras benefited from this manipulation of results”, notably proclaimed John Textor, who assured that he would substantiate all his accusations next Monday during another session, behind closed doors this time. For his accusations, the American is also being prosecuted by the Brazilian sports justice system (STJD). It already sentenced him last November to a one-month suspension for accusing the CBF of corruption after Botafogo’s 4-3 defeat against Palmeiras.

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