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Anorthosis calls on CFA brass to resign

One of the island’s biggest football clubs on Friday called for the immediate resignation of the football association’s leadership, citing, among others, match-fixing, lack of transparency, and unequal treatment of teams.

The announcement from Anorthosis Famagusta came in the wake of recent revelations by a referee concerning widespread match-fixing in the island’s top division.

Anorthosis accused CFA chairman Costakis Koutsokoumnis of double standards concerning the handling of clubs’ finances. The club said he intervened in favour of ‘friendly’ sides in the audits relating to European football governing body UEFA’s financial fair play regulations.

The club also claimed that appointments in the CFA’s judicial bodies lacked transparency. In certain occasions their decisions were in violation of the rules, Anorthosis said.

There was also a transparency problem in the appointment of referees. It has been proven that officials make serious and inexcusable mistakes but despite being reported by the clubs, they are appointed again in the next match day, the Famagusta side said.

And there was also the match-fixing.

Anorthosis said that Koutsokoumnis had conceded in an interview in December that match-fixing took place in Cyprus.

“However, he failed to name even one measure that was put in place during his chairmanship to tackle the phenomenon,” Anorthosis said.

International football authorities have sent the CFA so-called files of suspected match-fixing – arising from unusual betting activity — but there has not been any meaningful investigation so far.

There was also lack of transparency concerning the CFA’s financials, Anorthosis said. For years, the CFA’s accounts were only presented at the general assembly for approval by the clubs, which had not been given a chance to study them beforehand.

The practice changed last year but the chairman and board failed to answer specific questions asked by Anorthosis, the statement said.

The CFA is not audited by the state but it is accountable to UEFA.

In December, international referee Marios Panayi publicly claimed he had evidence of extensive match fixing and corruption in Cypriot professional football and accused one of the highest ranking officials of pulling the strings.

Panayi identified CFA’s deputy chairman Giorgos Koumas as the man behind the curtain, claiming that he is the one who decides on referee appointments and that he has close ties to football clubs and political parties.

Panayi has since give extensive statements to police, which has carried out a search of the CFA’s HQ, seizing computers and documents.

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