By Constantinos Psillides
THREE people are under investigation in connection with alleged match fixing, according to police spokesperson Andreas Angelides, who told the Cyprus Mail that officers raided their homes yesterday to collect evidence linking them to the case.
According to Angelides, eight computers, four external hard drives and other evidence were collected.
None of the suspects were remanded.
The three are suspected to have engaged in match fixing by betting large sums of money on Cyprus top division matches, on an unauthorised betting website.
Angelides was quoted on the Sigmalive website as saying that this investigation is part of a larger match fixing investigation, numbering a total of 16 cases. Those cases were reported by the Cyprus Football Association (CFA).
CFA sprung into action after receiving 31 “red file matches” from UEFA.
A ‘red file match’ is a warning sent by UEFA to the competent national authority, reporting a match that was suspected to be fixed. Of those, 15 were deemed as unsolvable and shelved by the police.
Angelides is not optimistic on any progress in the investigation of the other cases either.
“It’s very hard to build a case in this kind of investigation. But we will try, since we received a report from CFA. We are obliged to investigate,” he said.
The police spokesman told the Cyprus Mail that they had to contact a betting company based in another EU country and request IP addresses, which eventually lead them to the three suspects.
Angelides said that the suspects seem to have bypassed internet restrictions and gained access to the website, which was blocked for Cyprus since it was considered “unauthorised.”
Angelides admitted that police don’t know how the suspects managed to gain access.
Up to now, no person or team in Cyprus has been convicted of match-fixing.
The matter was discussed in the House legal affairs committee last month, with DISY MP Andreas Michaelides revealing that five footballers, playing in the Cyprus first division, were under UEFA investigation as having “increased betting activity.”
The investigation of those cases is still ongoing.
Cyprus has been slammed on match-fixing by the international watchdog Federbet.
In a report published on June 5, the watchdog said that seven matches were suspected to have been fixed in the top national division last year. While Cyprus is not the country with the highest number of suspected fixed matches, it’s the only one together with Bulgaria that has all of its suspected matches in the top division.