LISBON: Portuguese prosecutors are reportedly investigating claims that now-retired referee Bruno Paixão received €1.9m from a company linked to record champions Benfica.

The club have denied receiving any approach from the Prosecutor’s Office despite reports from the TVI and CNN channels that the Judicial Police was on the case.

The company, owned by businessman José Bernardes, is alleged to have received a seven-figure sum from Benfica for “fictitious consulting services” and hiring Paixão for “a quality control service”.

Paixão has denied in statements to the media that he had received payments from Benfica and said it was a mere coincidence that he had been contracted by a company linked to the club.

He said: “I know José Bernardes, and, a few years ago, for a few months, I tried to implement a quality control system for his business.”

He also said he had not been contacted by the authorities and was unaware of allegations of sports corruption.
Benfica has been under investigation for several years in the so-called Saco Azul (Blue Bag) operation concerning tax fraud.