Vice president of Anorthosis football club Kyriacos Yiangou was remanded for three days on Saturday, following days of allegations over irregularities in the health fitness card issued to the club’s latest signing, Nigerian goalkeeper Francis Uzoho.
Yiangou had been one of several people questioned by police on Friday and was arrested later in the day. He is being investigated for forgery, fake document circulation and registration under false pretences.
He was arrested after the footballer reportedly told police that he was on an airplane to Cyprus when his health fitness card was being issued.
The allegations centre on the procedures surrounding the mandatory medical card issued to Uzoho who was acquired by the Famagusta side on Thursday, January 31, the transfer deadline day. He arrived on the island only on Friday, February 1, yet was on the starting line-up for last Saturday’s game against Apollon, which Anorthosis won, 1-0.
After the game Apollon said the Nigerian goalkeeper could not have had a valid health card. This is the responsibility of the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA) and is issued following a review of the player’s medical records.
The club said Uzoho had only arrived in Cyprus on Friday afternoon, shortly before 4pm, and questioned how he could have had his health card issued about an hour after KOA’s offices closed on Friday at 2.30pm.
On Thursday Apollon sent a letter to KOA demanding that Uzoho underwent a fresh medical certified by other Cypriot doctors.
Failure to do so immediately, or before Saturday at the latest, or if the new test shows the initial one was bogus, then those responsible should pay for their actions and his medical card should be revoked, the Limassol side said.
Around lunchtime on Friday, KOA announced a news conference in which its chairman, Andreas Michaelides, was expected to shed light on the matter but an hour later a second announcement by KOA informed the media that it was postponed due to new evidence that has surfaced. A few hours later Yiangou was arrested.
Police on Saturday said that they continue investigations and did not rule out more arrests as several people appear to be involved.
Meanwhile, Anorthosis said that Uzoho would be benched during Saturday’s match against New Salamina. The club had asked the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) whether or not their goalkeeper would be eligible to play in the game against Nea Salamina.
All this seems to have affected the young Nigerian international with reports in the media on Friday suggesting Uzoho has asked to leave and that Anorthosis officials are trying desperately to dissuade him from doing so.