26 January ~ The Apito Dourado (Golden Whistle) scandal in Portugal concerned alleged bribery of referees, influence peddling and general corruption in football at the beginning of the 2000s. Its scope fell on various top figures in the Portuguese game, but one in particular was targeted – FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa (PdaC). The action that went through the criminal courts saw PdaC cleared, some would say controversially, of two important accusations – that he, with the help of others, bribed the referees before two games in 2004, versus Estrela da Amadora and Beira-Mar.

In a parallel disciplinary action, known as Apito Final (Final Whistle), the Liga took it into its own hands to discipline PdaC and the club – a two-year suspension for the former and a six-point deduction for the latter. The storm caused by Apito Dourado appeared to have blown over until last week, when the phone taps from the criminal case were posted on YouTube. There was nothing really new to be learned from the publication; the transcripts of the conversations had been leaked almost from the very beginning of the criminal proceedings. What was enlightening, however, apart from the sordidness of it all, was the general tone of arrogance among the protagonists. If they knew they were being tapped, there was little effort made to conceal what they were up to, apart from various code words (for example "Number One" to refer to PdaC, "fruit" to refer to prostitutes) and the use of indirect language. But the very use of code suggests an attempt to conceal wrongdoing.

Pinto da Costa has made a criminal complaint about the publication. No one knows who posted the recordings, but there is a suspicion that a benfiquista hand is at work somewhere along the line. Benfica have their best chance in years to win the title and anything that can unsettle their arch rivals will be seen by them as a bonus. Phil Town

The main taps, in chronological order:

Boavista 0-1 FC Porto October 27, 2003

November 28 After the game, PdaC arranges a story with journalist Tavares Teles, whereby Deco would refuse to play for the national team at Euro 2004 if he was suspended for throwing a boot at referee Paulo Paraty.
November 28 PdaC phones Deco to tell him about the arranged story and tells him to say "No comment. I'll speak when the time's right," if anyone asks him about it.
November 29 Porto director Antero Henrique phones PdaC to congratulate him: "I'll tell you something... I knew you were a genius, but this time... fuck me... I think it's a fantastic bit of blackmail … spectacular!"

FC Porto 2-0 Estrela da Amadora January 24, 2004
January 24 Just hours before the game, António Araújo, a players' agent close to PdaC, phones him to ask whether some "fruit" can be delivered to the match officials. PdaC says there's no need: "It's already been sent." Araújo says no, "fruit for sleeping" (prostitutes). PdaC asks if it was JP (referee Jacinto Paixão) who asked for it. Araújo says yes. PdaC says: "Tell him yes, of course". Araújo says: "I asked him if he wanted coffee with milk, very dark or light... "
January 24 PdaC phones Araújo. He's in the Antas Stadium and is anxious that Araújo, late, will not be able to speak to Jacinto Paixão. "I've said all I have to say to him," responds Araújo. "I don't know if you've said everything," remarks PdaC, cryptically.
January 24 Araújo phones Porto director Fernando Gomes to ask for three match tickets for "three goddesses". Gomes says that Araújo will have to pay for the tickets, but that as it's "for that deal we spoke about", he can claim them back as expenses.

Sporting 1-1 FC Porto February 2, 2004
February 2 Pinto da Costa calls the Liga president at the time, Valentim Loureiro, to ask him to bring disciplinary action against Sporting striker Liedson for elbowing Porto's Jorge Costa during Sporting v FC Porto (1-1). "OK, I'll look into it." He then boasts at how, before the game, he blanked Sporting director and future club president José Eduardo Bettencourt. Finally, he claims that the story of Mourinho ripping the shirt of Sporting's Rui Jorge after the game was invented by Bettencourt to get his own back. Sporting's kit-man (the famous Paulinho, referred to three times by PdaC as "that retard") had reportedly taken the shirt to the Porto changing room to swap it with Vítor Baia's.

Beira-Mar 0-0 FC Porto April 18 2004

April 16 António Araújo phones referee Augusto Duarte to arrange to have dinner with PdaC, whom he calls "O Senhor Engenheiro Máximo" (The Number One) and "The Bank Manager". Duarte says he can't make it because he has a refereeing class and has to take his wife to see a game (Braga v Benfica), but they decide on lunch.
April 16 António Araújo phones PdaC. There has been a change of plans and Duarte can now make it that very night.
April 16 António Araújo phones Duarte to confirm the location of the meet.

Beira-Mar 0-0 FC Porto April 18 2004
April 16 António Araújo drives Augusto Duarte to meet PdaC, but has to call the Porto president to get exact directions.

Comments (7)
Comment by pintorules 2010-01-26 12:33:18

This man is well known. He ruined the Portuguese football. Arsenal will play against the FC Porto and certainly he will do anything to win the game. We have to do anything to stop the corruption.

Comment by mrll 2010-01-26 14:20:30

lol. Bye, bye Arsenal. Bye, bye CL. Go Man. United. lol

Comment by jfalves 2010-01-26 16:20:37

I'm completely ashamed that this is still possibe in my country!

Comment by Soccer.Is.My.Dream 2010-01-27 01:43:38

Hello people in Europe's Soccer...
Is there some one who can help Portuguese Soccer? Yes, because for the last 20 years the corruptios is obvious and seems that Platini neither Blatter care much about that.
Please, some one in European Soccer Headquarters, ask for a referendum with portuguese soccer fans and do something to keep the good name of SOCCER in Portugal.

Comment by Soccer.Is.My.Dream 2010-01-27 01:51:28

If you follow the portuguese major Sports Newspapers every one can feel a deep nausea from whatwe read, listen and view. Now the YouTub stuff is the prove what this Big fcp Boss is able too. Where are the UEFA and FIFA rules which every country in the world of SOCCER has to follow? We, fans, need to know. It's time to make these guys disappear from the Soccer arena. We need to trust soccer clubes again. We need to go to watch a Soccer game in peace and cheer for the jersey we defend. We need to bring our children to watch the game and to make them to get involved without any kind of corruption.

Comment by douglaspier 2010-01-27 10:18:27

I have lived and worked in this beautiful country for more than 10 years and everybody, portistas included, know this guy is the biggest crook around. He is supported by the super dragões, who get free stacks of tickets to sell at a profit, run merchandising scams and have their finger in various pies. Some of them are responsible for this guy's personal protection as he lords it over the city of Porto. His sidekick, Valentim Loureiro, an even nastier piece of work, who was in charge - laughably - of the portuguese FA, got himself voted in as mayor of Gondomar by distributing free toasters to the masses. You couldn't make it up. If anyone doubts UEFA's rank nepotism and sloth, just look at the mess created here. Evidence as thick as an elephant's rear end and nobody lifting a finger.

Comment by conseromfv 2010-01-28 12:52:56

This corruption scandal doesn´t have any similar IN THE WHOLE WORLD. It has gone for more than 25 years. And the people in UEFA know very well about it. The Porto club it has been introducing their own people in the structures of UEFA, including Judges. So that they can launder the situations. Talking about judges, all the police force and judicial system in the city of Porto is the hands of these people. It is worse than Palermo. Judges, lawyers, Police chiefs, referees, even foreigner referees to their european matches, members of the structure of the Football Associations, etc., were clients of prostitutes clubs which belong to administrators of the Porto SAD Football Club since 30 years. They even filmed important people in embarassing situations with whores so they could blackmail them if necessary. It is filthier than the Mafia in Italy. And about the tapping that appear in YouTube, I can tell you that the worse parts have been erased and could not turn up in the air. If you think that I´m lying, or even exagerating the information, you only have to read some of the books that have been published along the years. And that they have tried to silence. About silence, they sue everybody that have tried to denounce them. Journalists and even members of Parliament have been beaten by members of Superdragões, an organised gang that have been like a pretorian Guard of Pinto da Costa. Believe me, all this thing is so sordid that is a typical case in which the reality surpasses the fantasy.

Related articles

YouTube team Hashtag United can bring younger fans to non-League matches
Embed from Getty Images // There was scepticism when Spencer Owen's new club entered the Eastern Senior League South, but they could be a force...
Sporting president under pressure to step down after fans attack players
Embed from Getty Images // Several players were injured when supporters stormed Sporting’s training ground ahead of the cup final, rounding...
Hope for 2018 ~ part two
Embed from Getty Images // No more gambling ads, reform in Spain and Italy, and England playing in the Football League – WSC contributors&...