Cyprus Mail

Football clubs told to provide financial details

The sports ethics committee has asked 33 football clubs to provide it with financial information in a bid to prevent match fixing, its chairman said on Wednesday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency, Andreas Papacharalambous said the match fixing notices received from European governing body Uefa in the past years have provided the committee with the tools and direction.

The committee has recently sent letters to 33 clubs in three divisions, and the women’s league, asking for information on their financials, contracts with players, managers and agents, as well as the capacity of the board members to determine whether there is conflict of interest.

Numerous notices have been received from Uefa in previous seasons, indicating suspicious betting activity even in top-flight fixtures. Authorities, however, have been unable to prosecute anyone in connection with the notices.

All the Uefa notices show suspicious betting activity, usually in Asian markets where the identities of the punters cannot be determined.

The committee has the power to cancel a fixture if suspicious betting activity is detected.

“Based on the red notices, we have found weaknesses and we are trying to prevent” potential match fixing, Papacharalambous said.

In February, police arrested a second division club chairman and a referee in connection with fixing a game. The chairman is also a former first division referee. The case is currently in court.

One of the island’s biggest clubs, Omonia has also come out in public claiming corruption in Cypriot football was rampant and championships could be bought.

The performance of certain referees over the years has also raised suspicions among clubs and fans.

The Cyprus Football Association had decided to use foreign officials in certain games before the championship was interrupted due to the coronavirus. It previously did the same in the 2009-2010 playoffs and some cup finals.


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