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Cyprus

Justice Minister hosts football meeting following match-fixing arrests

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Justice Minister Giorgos Savvides is chairing a meeting regarding the latest developments in the match-fixing scandal with representatives from the police, the Cyprus Football Association (CFA), the footballers’ association (Pasp) and the referees’ association.

The meeting comes after the chairman of second division club Ayia Napa Demetris Masias and top referee Andreas Constantinou were remanded in custody on Wednesday in connection with match-fixing.

Masias has been accused of attempting to bribe an opposing team with €10,000 to lose a game and Constantinou, who officiated the game, showed three red cards to the opposing team (Othellos) players and awarded Ayia Napa a penalty on the 97th minute through which it won the fixture.

On Thursday Pasp president Spyros Neophytides said “the case was just the tip of the iceberg.”

“I was certain there were going to be people arrested for their involvement in match-fixing.

“We know for sure that 85 per cent of our members are not involved in the scandal. However, it’s also true that there are always some rotten apples in the basket, which need to be isolated and banned from the game.”

Pasp recently introduced an app called Red Button, which can be used by players to file anonymous reports in a bid to combat the corruption phenomenon.

“We received a lot of reports so far, we are really glad to see how things are shaping up.

“The problem until now was ensuring anonymity, they (footballers) could not speak up. This was overcome with the app.

Regarding the arrests of Masias and Constantinou, Neophytides said “it’s not his job to find out how and why they fixed games.

“However, I want to believe that the authorities will do their job properly this time, so we can start making real progress and move on.”

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