Benfica vows to fight Lisbon prosecutors’ corruption charges

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Benfica says it will fight corruption charges that could lead to the Portuguese soccer club being banned from competition.

The Lisbon attorney general’s office says it is charging Benfica in connection with alleged attempts to gain access to magistrates’ investigations involving the club or its league rivals.

Apart from the club, the public prosecutor is also charging two court clerks.

A judge must now decide if the public prosecutor’s evidence is enough to take the case to trial. A verdict could take years in the notoriously slow Portuguese legal system.

The Portuguese soccer federation’s disciplinary committee said Wednesday it has launched its own investigation after the prosecutors’ charges became public.

The charges relate to the last two seasons.

Benfica is in the group stage of the Champions League.