By Constantinos Psillides
THE Cyprus Football Association (CFA) has decided to refer whistleblower referee Marios Panayi to the association’s disciplinary committee, accusing him of making offensive comments online against members of the Cyprus Referees Association (CRA).
Panayi is also being accused by the CFA of sending an offensive email to CRA chairman Hans Reijgwart.
According to a press release posted on the CFA website, Panayi has been given until Monday to respond to the accusations.
Panayi shocked the football world in December when he called a press conference to report widespread match-fixing orchestrated by CRA and CFA officials. He gave lengthy statements to the police which resulted into two arrests.
Panayi repeatedly pledged to leak a “huge amount of evidence” in his possession if the legal services decided not to pursue the case. The evidence, mostly phone conversations and email exchanges prove, according to Panayi, that CRA members pressured referees to fix matches in exchange for promotion.
The online comment accusations refer to a January 15 post Panayi placed on his Facebook account, where he wrote the names of 10 CRA and CFA officials – including Reijgwart- blaming them for the match fixing. Panayi called on his Facebook followers to “mock and spit on them”.
Two of the individuals in Panayi’s list have already filed a complaint against him with the police.
Panayi did not comment on the latest CFA decision, telling the Cyprus News Agency that “I will speak when the time is right.”
He also implied that he would call a second press conference.