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Benfica accused of serious corruption — and hiring a witch doctor

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FC Porto says their rivals did a lot of serious things wrong, and also that they paid a witch doctor €150,000.

Benfica v Setubal: Primeira Liga Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

FC Porto recently leveled explosive allegations of corruption against their rivals, SL Benfica. Porto’s communications director says that Benfica has been monitoring the text messages of Portuguese FA president Fernando Gomes and making improper contact with an ex-referee who told Benfica which officials would be favorable towards them. These are extremely serious accusations, which Portuguese officials are looking into.

While these are the most important accusations leveled against Benfica, they’re not the most interesting. What we’d like to focus on is the accusation that Benfica spent €150,000 on the services of a witch doctor.

That witch doctor — Armando Nhaga of Guinea-Bissau — failed to ensure victory for Benfica against Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League, then blamed the club for not giving him enough time to prepare. SB Nation has obtained the exclusive transcripts* of the conversation between Benfica officials and Mr. Nhaga’s receptionist following Benfica’s big Champions League defeat.

*Obviously not, we made up all of the below.

Office of Armando Nhaga: Good morning, you're through to the office of Dr Armando Nhaga. My name is [redacted]. How can I help?

Sport Lisboa e Benfica: Hello? Hello. Yes. I'd like to make a complaint.

OAN: Very good sir. Can I ask for your name?

SLB: I'm calling on behalf of Benfica of Lisbon. I have a reference number ...

OAN: Yes, sir.

SLB: The number is [redacted]. Look, I don’t mean to be rude, but is there somebody senior I could talk—

OAN: Just a moment, sir, while I bring up your file.

SLB: OK ...

OAN: Ah, yes, there we are. Now, how can I help?

SLB: Right. So, we engaged your services in relation to a number of football matches, and — look, could I speak to your boss, please?

OAN: All complaints must go through me first, sir, so that I know which department you need to speak to. Now, these football matches.

SLB: Yes. Yes, right. Well, frankly, the results were less than satisfactory. I refer particularly to the game against Borussia Dortmund ...

OAN: Yes, sir?

SLB: We paid a fee — a large fee, I might add — to ensure a victory, or at least a draw, which would send us through.

OAN: And, sir?

SLB: We lost.

OAN: Oh, dear.

SLB: Four-nil.

OAN: I see.

Sporting Clube de Portugal v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

SLB: And so I'm contacting you today to obtain both an apology and a full refund. You can rest assured that we are taking this matter very seriously indeed.

OAN: Very good, sir. I note from the file that you did, however, win the league title this season.

SLB: Well, yes. But we paid—

OAN: And the domestic cup as well.

SLB: I don't see how—

OAN: Can I ask, do you have the paperwork to hand?

SLB: Not to hand, no.

OAN: Well, let me assist. If I can refer you to the fourth page of the Terms of Service, you'll see that we reserve the right to offer an alternative product where the purchased product is unavailable—

SLB: Unavailable!

OAN: —or when exceptional circumstances apply. Now, I understand you were playing against Borussia Dortmund, is that correct?

SLB: Well, yes. But—

OAN: If you look on page seven of the same Terms, you'll see — I think it's paragraph 9.5 — that we set out a list, incomplete but indicative, of just those exceptional circumstances.


OAN: And I think it's clear paragraph 9.5 applies in this case. If I may speak frankly, sir, our services are reliable and, well, potent. But at short notice, we can’t hope to compete with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, if he's in the mood. [laughter]

SLB: [angry] But this is ridiculous!

OAN: I'm afraid it's all there in the contract, sir.

SLB: No! I have to speak to your boss!

OAN: I'm afraid he's not available at the moment. And in any case, he will only refer you back to me, and to the Terms of Service. But—

SLB: I will speak to my lawyers!

OAN: Who will, I'm sure, have much to say about the appropriateness of engaging our services with relation to sporting competitions.

SLB: Ah. I see.

OAN: Indeed, sir. Now, it's clear you're unhappy. And while I cannot offer you a refund on this occasion, I can offer you a preferential rate on any future purchases you might consider?

SLB: [silence]

Benfica v Setubal: Primeira Liga Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images

OAN: For instance, we are currently offering a "Semi-Final Special", which is good for any two semi-finals in the same season and comes with full refund in the event of a penalty shoot-out. Or perhaps you'd be interested in our two for one deal on "Accelerated Recovery"? Clear up one hamstring, get another one cleared up for free?

SLB: [silence]

OAN: I can email you through our new catalogue, if you'd like?

SLB: … yes. Yes, please.

OAN: Very good, sir. Was there anything else today?

SLB: … no.

OAN: Thank you, sir. Goodbye.

We should here note that at this stage, Benfica have not been found to have done anything wrong. Supernatural or otherwise.