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Anastasiades calls on football whistleblowers to come forward

President Nicos Anastasiades

President Nicos Anastasiades is calling on potential whistleblowers into corruption in football to come forward and contact the authorities, government spokesman Kyriacos Kousios said on Wednesday.

“On behalf of the president, I want to reassure people that whoever is in possession of information regarding illegal betting activities will be thoroughly protected and will contribute substantially to justice,” Kousios said.

He added that the president will hold a meeting on February 7 at the presidential palace to discuss the recent allegations of corruption in Cypriot football.

Kousios said Anastasiades will request a full update on recent developments from the Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides and from Cyprus Football Association (CFA) representatives.

Anastasiades’ appeal for whistleblowers echoes the one made by Savvides on Tuesday, following a meeting with the chief of police Kypros Michaelides and with Uefa representatives, who are currently in Cyprus at the invitation of the CFA after the former recently sent the latter five ‘red notices’ on suspicious betting activity.

Savvides also stressed the importance of the public coming forth with specific information to assist law enforcement investigations.

“For those who love the sport, it is not enough for them to say they have information – they must provide it to the police,” he said.

Describing the meeting with Uefa officials as ‘highly constructive’, Savvides said it was agreed the two sides would establish a direct line of communication, rather than wait for Uefa to dispatch its ‘red notices’.

The procedure until now was that Uefa would send a dossier to the CFA, who would then forward it to the police.

Savvides reiterated that phone surveillance is a powerful tool in solving crime, a reference to the phone-tapping bill passed by the House last Friday. Last-minute amendments by Edek, however, have forced Anastasiades to consider rejecting the bill as too weak to be effective.

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