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Football: Russian on hunger strike over Portugal arrest

Published on 06/06/2016

The Russian chairman of a Portuguese team once coached by Jose Mourinho has gone on hunger strike in a Portuguese prison where he has been held in custody since May over alleged links to a mafia gang.

Alexander Tolstikov, a former coach and player and now owner of third division Uniao Leiria, went on hunger strike on Friday to protest the legal action against him, prison officials told AFP.

Tolstikov was arrested on May 4 in a major operation involving Portuguese police and Interpol and is suspected of corruption, money laundering and criminal association.

The Russian criminal group is accused of a litany of crimes including snapping up football clubs in financial turmoil to help launder millions of euros over several years.

Leiria spent several years in the top division and were briefly coached in 2001 by Mourinho.