Portuguese club Leixões has been banned from the Liga NOS and LigaPro, Portugal’s top two football leagues, for two years following ‘active corruption’ allegations.
The club, currently applying its trade in the second division, has been charged during a legal investigation over match-fixing in Portuguese football competitions.
Leixões has expressed its desire to appeal against the decision given at the Central Criminal Court in Lisbon. It is expected that the ban will come in place next season.
In a statement issued by Leixões, the club has backed the club’s operating company Leixões SAD, the firm that has come into question regarding the active corruption charges, while also asking that fans back the team through the process.
The club stated: “Leixões SAD, the company responsible for the management of professional football, was formed on 14 June 2002 and although the club holds 40% of the capital of SAD, it does not take part in its management.
“At this stage, we show solidarity with Leixões SAD and we hope that it will fight hard and defend Leixões’ good name, appealing from the sentence until the last instance, as we believe in Portuguese justice.
“We ask our associates for unity, strength and vitality. Leixões Sport Club needs you!”
Along with the club being sentenced, five people have also been jailed for using an illegal betting ring in order to fix results in Portugal’s second tier.
Former footballer, Rui Dolores is among one of the five to be jailed, with the ex-Boavista player sentenced to five years and six months.
The other four, Gustavo Oliveira, Carlos Silva, Hugo Guedes, and João Tiago Rodrigues, have been handed sentences ranging from five-and-a-half years to six years and nine months.