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Refs call on whistle blower to reveal names

Ref Panayi's allegations have caused a major storm in football

By George Psyllides

THE referees’ association has called on a ref who claimed match-fixing in Cyprus was widespread to name those responsible and prove his allegations.

Marios Panayi first made the claims back in December 2014.

He reiterated his allegations in an interview with the Associated Press, adding that he had rebuffed requests to match-fix three times in his career. Once by a journalist with close ties to a third division team and another by an associate of a fourth division coach.

The third involves a first division game in 2011, which is now under investigation.

The referee association urged Panayi to give the names of those involved and hand over any proof he had to police, if he has not done so already.

“There are many (team) officials, referees, and journalists involved with football and no one can generalise and cast shadows,” the association said in a statement.

“Anonymous claims do not help in solving any case.”

Any member involved in match-fixing has no place in the “referee family”, the association said.

In December, Panayi went public with allegations that match-fixing was rife in Cyprus, naming the football association’s deputy chairman Giorgos Koumas as the man pulling the strings.

He also said CFA chairman Kostakis Koutsokoumnis was a “straw-man”.

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