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CFA publishes match-fixing notices

Following reports in the media, the football association (CFA) said Wednesday it has received notifications concerning possible match-fixing in five fixtures, three for the second division league, and two for the cup.

The reports said suspicious betting activity had been recorded in three second division games – Ermis vs Digenis, Onisilos vs Digenis, and Othelos vs Xylotymbou and two cup fixtures.

The first cup fixture was played between first division side AEK and Karmiotissa with the report assigning blame on the latter.

The other game was between Pafos FC and Ayia Napa but no responsibility was assigned.

All reports have been forwarded to the police, the CFA said.

Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides expressed grave concern over the phenomenon, saying “I have given clear instructions to the chief of police and members of the force to immediately proceed with the necessary actions.”

“I want to emphasize anew that the government’s policy is zero tolerance on all forms of corruption.”

Last year, the CFA suspended the second division league for a week following several match-fixing reports.

The league resumed after strict penalties were put in place.

The CFA said teams who had played in a game whose result had been found to be suspect by Uefa would not receive their allotted €60,000 season funding.

There would be further points deduction and fines if a team participated in two suspect matches or more, with a five-year ban for clubs subject to inquiries for five fixtures.

The recent second division notices have been forwarded to the CFA’s judicial committee.

Some 80 notices have been received by the CFA in recent years, but police have so far failed to bring anyone to book.

CFA’s announcement followed an unprecedented move last week by Nicosia club Omonia, which issued a statement saying there is widespread corruption in Cypriot football and the situation is not likely to change under the leadership of CFA chairman Giorgos Koumas.

Omonia said the outcome of several of its games had been altered by poor and biased refereeing, adding that it intended to ask Uefa and Fifa to intervene.

On Tuesday, it emerged that former referee Marios Panayi is reportedly preparing to file more complaints against Koumas whom he had named a few years ago as being behind match fixing.

In 2014, Panayi claimed he had recordings, documents and other evidence proving that members of the CFA were fixing matches, in particular those deciding which team would be relegated to the second division.

Panayi identified Koumas who, at the time, was the deputy head of the CFA, as the man behind the curtain, stressing that if he was not removed from the picture, then professional football in Cyprus was a lost cause.

Police said they had investigated the claims and determined that they could not stand in court.

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