Following John Textor accusing Brazil of match-fixing, the Brazilian club Palmeiras proceeded to submit a complaint against the American tycoon.

In a statement, the 58-year-old accused reigning champion Palmeiras of benefiting from a match-fixing system. His Eagle Football manages Botafogo, a top-flight Brazilian team.

“I’m sorry [this] is going to create a lot of noise, but my evidence is 100 percent. It’s going to the prosecutors, so we can just play football. I’m here to defend the honor of our club,” Textor said on Monday.

He also claimed that two Brazilian league matches played against Palmeiras in 2022 and 2023 had nine players from Fortaleza and Sao Paulo who were questionably underperforming. In a statement, Palmeiras announced that they had filed a complaint in response to Textor’s remarks this week.

Fortaleza and Sao Paulo also expressed their interest in taking legal action against Textor on Monday.

What did Palmeiras say in response to match-fixing allegations from Textor?

Last season, Botafogo didn’t win the national league because they let a 13-point advantage slip away. They ended in fifth place with 64 points in 2023, while Palmeiras won with 70.

According to Textor, he obtained a data-driven analysis from an artificial intelligence company that supports his assertions. Nonetheless, he remains tight-lipped over the matter

In a statement, Palmeiras expressed their desire to see the American billionaire penalized and suspended. According to the Sao Paulo club, they would “not speak again about the bizarre attempt of the ludicrous soccer executive to justify their loss of the 2023 Brazilian championship.”

They also categorized this as a “bizarre attempt” to rationalize the Brazilian championship loss and referred to Textor as “a caricatured top-hat” in a note. As of now, the Superior Tribunal de Justiça Desportiva (STJD) has not made any calls.

“If the accusations are true, we must applaud him. If they are lies, he should be banned from soccer,” Brazilian senator Jorge Kajuru said on Tuesday.

The fact that Textor is refusing to provide proof has angered Kajuru, who is a former sports writer as well. Nevertheless, he emphasized that Brazil’s Congress should investigate the allegations.

Textor’s notoriety throughout Brazil

Since last December, Palmeiras recognized his remarks as careless and baseless. Textor brought up concerns about the competition and showed a report that said Verdão should have had 21 fewer points than the Rio squad. Upon accepting the trophy in December, President Leila Pereira addressed him:

“I think Textor is a bit unbalanced,” the club’s president Leila Pereira said in criticism. “It strikes me because I think the owner is unbalanced,’ Leila said at the time. ‘It even becomes ridiculous. He belittles, devalues this important product that is football. He should have more serenity. It’s a part of Mr. John Textor’s imbalance.”

In fact, since March, the club’s legal staff has been devising a plan to sue Botafogo’s owner. What’s more, following an interview with Textor that included profanity, Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues filed a defamation suit against him in November.

In the interview, the mogul held Palmeiras responsible for Botafogo’s 4-3 season-ending defeat, blaming “corruption” and “theft” as causes.