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RIO DE JANEIRO: US football magnate John Textor will be tried by Brazil’s top court for sport for ignoring orders to provide evidence for his claims that the Brazilian league is plagued by match-fixing, officials said Wednesday.

Textor, whose teams include Brazilian club Botafogo, will go on trial on April 15 before a disciplinary panel of the Superior Court of Sport for Football, the court said in a statement.

If convicted of violating the national legal code for sport, he could face a 360-day suspension and fines of up to $40,000.

The 58-year-old media and tech mogul has repeatedly made allegations of match-fixing in Brazil’s top flight, blaming “corruption” for Botafogo’s spectacular collapse in the home stretch of the 2023 season, in which rivals Palmeiras ultimately won the title.

The court opened an investigation into the claims in March, and ordered Textor to hand over evidence he said he had obtained, including supposed recordings of referees complaining they had not received their promised bribes.

Textor, who has never presented proof of the match-fixing claims, failed to comply.

Textor acquired a 90-percent stake in Rio de Janeiro-based Botafogo in 2022. His Eagle Football Holdings also has large stakes in English club Crystal Palace, France’s Lyon and Belgium’s Molenbeek.

News of his trial came a day after Palmeiras asked the same court to order Textor to “abstain from any mention of or reference to Palmeiras,” after he repeated his match-fixing claims again Monday.

Textor said on his website that expert analysis and artificial intelligence had found “abnormal deviations” in player performance in top-flight matches.

Textor has already had run-ins with Brazil’s sporting court. In November, it suspended and fined him after he blamed corruption for a crucial Botafogo loss to Palmeiras.

Following the incident, Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues also sued Textor for slander.

Source: Arab News

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