LISBON: Former European champions Benfica have denied allegations concerning matchfixing.

The Correio da Manha had reported at the weekend that police suspected Benfica of fixing a 1-0 win over Rio Ave on April 24, 2016 on their way to winning the league title by just two points from neighbours and old rivals Sporting Clube.

This claim came only days after the trial of four people in a sports bribery investigation concerning a match between Feirense and Rio Ave last season. Four Rio Ave were alleged to have been paid to fix a 2-1 defeat on February 6, 2017. Rio Ave went on to finish seventh in the league.

Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira hit back at the latest claims, saying: “Our club is being targeted by a desperate campaign to prevent us from winning a fifth successive league title.

“Benfica fans can be totally quiet calm because no one in Benfica has tried to buy any referees or players from an opposing team. ”