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Cyprus Football

Second division football league suspended over match fixing (Updated)

The island’s football association has suspended the second division league over widespread match fixing after receiving repeated notifications of suspicious betting activity.

In a statement on Tuesday, the CFA said it has decided to suspend the league after an in-depth discussion of the repeated phenomenon of division two fixtures possibly being fixed as suggested by notifications sent by the European football governing body UEFA.

The CFA said measures will be put in place in coordination with UEFA before any decision is made for the league to resume.

The CFA is also looking to make changes to the structure of the second division league starting next season.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said the CFA have handed them four notifications concerning suspicious fixtures, all relating to the second division, three league fixtures and one cup game.

He said police were investigating the matter and have also asked the authorities in countries where the betting companies were based for assistance.

Numerous similar notifications had been received in past years relating to first division games but police were unable to find any leads.

Media reports suggested the match fixing racket had moved to the second division after the CFA introduced strict measures.

The incident that forced the CFA to suspend the league took place last Friday during a game between Othellos of Athienou and second division leaders Olympiacos of Nicosia.

The game was abandoned on the 57th meeting after the floodlights failed for the second time and while Othellos was ahead 1-0.

Afterwards, Othellos sacked their coach, Vesco Michaelovic but said it had nothing to do with the outcome of the game. The club said they had been planning to do so for some time due to poor results.

It was followed by the resignation of the chairman for health reasons.

The CFA decided that the game would continue on Wednesday from the minute it had been interrupted.

Olympiacos then filed an appeal on the grounds that Othellos should have had a backup generator to power the lights.

In light of the appeal, the CFA said the game would not be played, prompting a third club, Limassol’s Aris, to ask that all games were called off pending the outcome of the appeal.

After that, the CFA suspended the league, as rumours spoke of widespread match fixing in the division.

 

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