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Friday, 1 May, 1998, 22:36 GMT 23:36 UK
Portuguese football club, Benfica, faces financial problems

Reports from Portugal say a court in Lisbon has frozen the bank accounts of the Benfica Football club.

Portuguese television said the accounts would remain frozen until the club has arranged finance to repay a bank loan of 620 million escudos about three million dollars.

Benfica, twice the winner of the European Champions Cup in the 1960's, is understood to be trying to negotiate fresh loans to pay salary arrears to its players.

The television report said a British finance company had offered a loan in exchange for a fifty-one percent holding in the club.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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