John Textor na CPI da Manipulação de Jogos
Imagem: Agência Senado / Roque de Sá

Businessman John Textor, owner of Botafogo, brought up a controversial discussion during his testimony to the CPI of Sports Betting in the Senate, which investigates alleged manipulation of results in football.

Textor categorically stated that match manipulation is not an issue exclusive to Brazil, citing examples in Belgium, France and across Europe.

The most emblematic case raised by Textor was the game between São Paulo and Palmeiras, which took place in 2023, in which he pointed out “eight standard deficiencies”. Remembering that the two São Paulo clubs stated that they will sue the businessman.

John Textor’s allegations affect the Brazilian Championship

According to the businessman, this would clearly indicate manipulation of the result. John Textor presented a 180-page report, accompanied by images, as proof of these irregularities.

Then, the president of the CPI, senator Jorge Kajuru, stated that the evidence presented by Textor will be thoroughly investigated. He highlighted the importance of not making accusations without concrete evidence, but admitted that there are enough elements to justify an in-depth investigation.

John Textor was summoned to testify in the Senate as a witness following his allegations of manipulation in Brazilian football in the years 2022 and 2023. He highlighted that errors in the application of football rules would not be mere failures of interpretation, but rather intentional errors to influence the match results.

Therefore, in November 2023, the owner of SAF do Botafogo made a bombastic statement. According to Textor, the Rio club was “robbed” in a match against Palmeiras, which ended 4-3 for the São Paulo team.

He spared no criticism and called for the resignation of Ednaldo Rodrigues, president of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF). “This needs to change. Ednaldo, you need to resign for the good of the game. This needs to end. This is theft, fine me. You can’t expel me, it’s my stadium, I’ll stay here.”

John Textor’s criticisms were not well received by Rodrigues, who decided to sue him. However, the owner of Fogão was not intimidated and continued to denounce what he believes to be widespread corruption in the Brazilian Championship.

He even presented an analysis of the Brasileirão games to defend himself against accusations from the Supreme Court of Sports Justice (STJD).

Complaints in 2024 extend to CBF

In March 2024, Textor again accused the CBF of corruption. He claimed to have recordings of judges complaining about not receiving agreed bribes.

The STJD, in turn, opened an inquiry to investigate John Textor’s allegations and gave him three days to present evidence of corruption. Textor’s defense, however, stated that they would only present the evidence to the Federal Public Ministry.

Furthermore, the owner of Botafogo appealed to the senators to reduce the power of the CBF. He criticized the entity and called for the privatization of the league’s operation.

“There is a black box in relation to the choice of referees. You should limit the power of the CBF. You should privatize the league’s operation. There is a very big force behind the organization of the championship.

I ended up becoming a polarized person. Brazil exports the best players in the world. But I believe this game has to be played here. So, it’s time to clean it up.”

Delivery of material for sports betting CPI

Therefore, the owner of Botafogo reaffirmed his complaints, but conditioned the delivery of the document to a secret meeting — which took place in the early evening of this Monday (22).

According to Kajuru, Textor spoke about Botafogo matches and several other games, showing images and documents. The president of the commission said that CPI members will analyze the reports and information that were delivered.

“We had access to several pieces of evidence. We don’t want to talk about evidence yet, but there are very important pieces of evidence”, highlighted Kajuru, who thanked the members of the CPI and called for a new meeting for Wednesday (24), at 2pm.