'Bribery' puts Porto out of Champions League

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The Independent Online

Porto have been thrown out of next season's Champions League by Uefa, European football's governing body. The club were last month punished in Portugal for trying to influence the outcome of domestic matches by allegedly bribing referees in 2003-04, the season they won the Champions League and when Jose Mourinho was in charge of the club.

In a statement, Uefa said the alleged bribery meant Porto broke rules that ban "any activity aimed at arranging or influencing the outcome of a match at national or international level."

Porto, who were also tarnished by match-fixing allegations during the Nineties, said they would appeal.

Last month the Portuguese Football League stripped Porto of six points and fined the club €150,000 (£119,000) after investigating two matches that took place in 2003-04. There is no suggestion that Mourinho was involved.

Porto won last season's Portuguese title for the third time in a row, 14 points ahead of Sporting Lisbon.

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