February 1, 2018 / 5:49 PM / a year ago

Portugal's finance minister cleared in soccer ticket probe

FILE PHOTO: Portugal's Finance Minister Mario Centeno and president of the Eurogroup speaks at the at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

LISBON (Reuters) - Prosecutors have dropped an investigation into Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno, who heads the Eurogroup, over allegations of receiving tickets from soccer club Benfica, the prosecutor said on Thursday.

The Lisbon prosecutor’s office said in a statement it had concluded there was “no crime of favoritism or any other (crime)” and that it has archived the case.

Centeno took over as head of the Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers in January.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa had dismissed the ticket allegation as “ridiculous” and having “no impact on the credibility and good name of Centeno.”

The allegations were published in local media at the weekend.

Reporting By Axel Bugge; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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