Luis Filipe Vieira Benfica president

Luis Filipe Vieira Benfica president

Agency Reports

Long serving President of Portuguese giants Benfica, Luis Filipe Vieira, has resigned.

He quit after being detained over allegations of tax fraud and money laundering, the Lisbon club said on Friday.

The 72-year-old Vieira had led Benfica for 18 years.

He offered his resignation on Thursday.

“The directors of … Benfica appeal for [fans] to unite around their common objectives and the safeguarding of the higher interests of the club,” Benfica said on their website.

A week ago, Vieira was taken into custody for his involvement of more than 100 million euros of deals in football.

He was subsequently placed under house arrest.

Former Portugal midfielder Rui Costa, sporting director with Benfica since 2008, has taken on Vieira’s presidential role on an interim basis.

Vieira denies wrong-doing.

It is expected that he will soon be released from house arrest against bail.

A court ruled on July 10 that Vieira would be released after paying a €3m bail within 20 days.

He was also ordered to hand over his passport.