The football association (CFA) has fined two top flight teams €50,000 each after they were implicated in suspicious betting activity by the European governing body UEFA.
Zakaki team Aez and Karmiotissa Polemidion, had been held responsible by UEFA for betting activity that strongly suggested recent fixtures they played had been fixed. UEFA had notified the CFA in two so-called red files.
The first notice concerned the January 22 league fixture between Apoel and Aez, which the home team won 7-0.
UEFA said there was a great deal of bets in favour of Aez trailing by at least five goals at half time. As it happened, the half-time score was 5-0 to Apoel.
The second notice relates to a January 18 cup fixture (second leg) between Karmiotissa and Aek Larnaca.
Bets were being placed on Karmiotissa losing by at least a five-goal difference. The full-time result was 6-1 to visitors Aek.
Aez denied any involvement in the betting activity but their claim was rejected by the CFA’s judge.
“According to the findings of UEFA’s relevant service, it is clearly determined that punters specifically went for bets that concerned exclusively the first half of the game in question,” Aristotelis Vryonides said. “Specifically, this game was manipulated by Aez to make financial gain, deliberately losing with five goals difference during the first half.”
Karmiotissa was punished along the same lines.
“According to the findings of UEFA’s relevant service, it is clearly determined that betting activity showed that some of the punters had prior knowledge that Aek Larnaca would win the game in question with a five-goal difference, a fact that yielded significant profits.”
The notifications came in the wake of statements from CFA chairman Costakis Koutsokoumnis that the party was over for the betting mafia, which also meant white-washing previous offences.
In December, the CFA was forced by UEFA to put strict measures in place after repeated notifications concerning suspicious betting activity.
The first red notice about a club would mean a €50,000 fine, with second-time offences attracting the same monetary sanctions plus the deduction of six points from their league table score.
A third notice would see the offender expelled from the league and be deprived of all grants and revenues the club would have receive from the CFA for participating in the competition.
A further notice would leave the club facing the imposition of an additional €100,000 fine and be stricken off the register of the federation, with no entitlement to be re-registered for a participation in the CFA championship for a period of five years.