Story By: Juan Mayes, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Golder’s News And Sport
Real Madrid legend Iker Casillas has said he put himself “at the entire disposition” of authorities after the “Portuguese Prosecution came to my house” for taxes owed to the Portuguese state.
Football super-agent Jorge Mendes, 54, and his representative Carlos Osorio de Castro’s homes were also searched as part of a tax fraud and money laundering investigation in Portugal dubbed “Operation Offside”.
Portuguese authorities searched 76 residences across the country which included the homes of former Spain shot-stopper Casillas, 38, and Mendes.
Local media report the searches included 200 agents, among them financial inspectors and the Republican National Guard (GNR).
According to a statement released by the Public Ministry, the authorities are looking for “professional football business carried out since 2015” which allegedly involved “operations to avoid the payment of taxes owed to the Portuguese State”
Despite not specifying which clubs or associations are included in the investigation, facilities belonging to top-flight clubs such as Benfica, Porto and Sporting CP were reportedly searched in the operation.
The incident led Casillas putting out a statement saying: “This morning, the Portuguese Prosecution has come to my home in Porto, as they have to 76 homes of sports associations, players and clubs to ask for documentation.
“I have put myself at their entire disposition. TRANSPARENCY is one of my principles.”
There have been no reports of players or club directors being detained or charged. The investigation is ongoing.
Casillas – who has not played since suffering a heart attack last year – recently confirmed his candidacy for the president of the Spanish football federation, marking the end of his professional playing career.
He suffered a heart attack during a training session in early May 2019 and was reportedly fitted with a coronary stent, a tube-shaped device placed in the coronary arteries to supply blood to the heart and keep the arteries open during the treatment of heart disease.
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