Cyprus Football Association (CFA) chairman Costakis Koutsokoumnis will run unopposed for re-election on August 3, it emerged on Monday.
The nominations for the top CFA post were to be in by Monday. Each nominee had to be backed by four clubs but only Koutsokoumnis achieved the target to run and will be the only candidate.
“The single application filed in view of the electoral assembly of August 3, 2015 is the current chairman Costakis Koutsokoumnis,” an announcement from the CFA said.
Following the development, on August 3, the General Assembly of the CFA will proclaim Koutsokoumnis President of CFA for four years, until the end of the football season 2018-2019 inclusive.
This will be his seventh consecutive term as CFA chairman in the post he has held for 14 years.
Earlier this month, referee-turned-whistleblower Marios Panayi,34, announced he would be running for CFA chairman but stressed that whatever the outcome of the elections, the current way of doing things must change.
Panayi, candidly told in a news conference when he announced his candidacy he didn’t expect to win because of the “regime” controlling football. And he slammed the big clubs – Omonia, Apoel, Ael and Apollon – for paying lip service to reforming football, criticising Koutsokoumnis, but then either supporting Koutsokoumnis’ candidacy or not nominating their own candidate.
This indicated Koutsokoumnis would in all likelihood retain the post, proof that the system was rotten, Panayi said. Koutsokoumnis has been openly backed by Apoel and Ael.
Following the outcome of the nominations round, Panayi on Monday urged Koutsokoumnis to “improve football and change the negative image fans have of him”.
Last December, Panayi had gone public with charges of widespread match-fixing involving referees and the CFA. His allegations led to a police investigation and three cases have been referred to trial. He named CFA deputy chairman Giorgos Koumas as the man pulling the strings.
“I want to believe that he [Koutsokoumnis] will finally extricate himself from some, known bad advisers, who only do damage to football,” Panayi said in an announcement on his Facebook profile.
“If his excuse was that he didn’t know, now he is in a position to know plenty. It’s never too late,” he said.
He added that he will continue his efforts “to send messages to fans and football clubs” and that he plans on having meetings with football officials and fans’ associations.
The third candidate for the job, who too did not manage to gather the necessary support to make it to the next round, head of Anorthosis Charalambos Manoli, said that clubs have chosen “the beaten track”, instead of giving a chance to “a new perspective”.
He added he understands and respects the clubs’ decision, and expressed hope that Koutsokoumnis would adopt as he sees fit part of his suggestions for better operation of the CFA and the financial relief of smaller clubs.