According to revelations made by the magazine Sábado, Paulo Gonçalves received the response of the referees’ testimony, on the Vouchers case, four days before the statement made by Luís Filipe Vieira in the Commission of Investigation and Inquiries of the League, in the same case.
According to Sábado, on November 7, 2016, the Portuguese Association of Football Referees sent to the members (referees, assistant referees, trainees, and observers) a “standard response” to deliver to the League Inquiries Commission. Paulo Gonçalves, SAD’s legal advisor for Benfica, received the document on the same day.
Contacted by the magazine Sábado, Fontelas Gomes, president of the Portuguese Association of Football Referees (APAF) at the time of the events, says that “the referees and assistant referees requested, to the APAF, legal advice, following a request of the Commission of Inquiries of the League”.
By itself, it is already suspicious that the Portuguese Association of Referees answers the testimony of a process, but knowing that Benfica is receiving these answers is more than surreal.
Ricardo Costa is everywhere
These revelations are very serious. Luís Filipe Vieira already knew the answer that the witnesses would give before he gave his statement. Moreover, Ricardo Costa, Vice-President of the Arbitral Court of Sport, also receives these responses. Therefore it is no wonder that the Arbitration Court of Sport rejected the appeal of Sporting in March 2017. The case need’s to be reopened, and Ricardo Costa must resign.
Now the question is who the person that sents the document to Paulo Gonçalves was? A referee?