Portuguese ex-star Rui Costa takes charge of Benfica Lisbon

The “socios” of Benfica Lisbon elected the ex-Portuguese international Rui Costa as president, a few months after the resignation of their former leader suspected of fraud, announced the most popular team of Portugal on the night of Saturday 9 until Sunday 10 October.

The 49-year-old former player comfortably won the election in which just over 40,000 socios participated, a record in the history of the club founded in 1904, garnering 84.48% of the vote against 12 , 24% for his opponent, Francisco Benitez.

His mandate will last four years, until 2025. First player of the club (1991-1994, 2006-2008), Rui Costa was then vice-president and finally interim at the head of the direction after the arrest of Luis Filipe Vieira in July.

The former president caught up with business

The former leader is targeted by an investigation for breach of trust, aggravated fraud, forgery, tax evasion and money laundering opened by the Portuguese judicial authorities and baptized “red card”. During the summer, he was taken into police custody, placed under house arrest, and then ended up resigning from the club.

After carrying out around forty searches in the regions of Lisbon and Braga (north), the prosecution reported cases and financing operations totaling more than 100 million euros which may have caused losses. high for the state and several companies. Aged 72, Mr. Vieira will have managed Benfica for eighteen years, a longevity record with seven Portuguese league titles.

His presidency, marked at its inception by the financial recovery of the club and the construction of a new training center, had already been tarnished by several legal cases for money laundering, tax evasion, corruption and influence peddling.

Rui Costa’s mission will be to turn the page of this troubled period for the club, but also of a disappointing year in sport for the “Eagles” of Lisbon, who have not won a single trophy.

The World with AFP