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No will to tackle match fixing says watchdog chief

The chairman of the sports ethics committee said on Monday he did not believe politicians and club officials were serious about tackling corruption in football, which seems to be rife across the board.

Andreas Papacharalambous said existing legislation could not tackle match-fixing and it did not appear that politicians were in any hurry to fix this.

“I do not believe any political leadership wants this committee to function, nor club officials,” Papacharalambous told Alpha television.

The head of the committee, which should have numbered five members but is down to two after three resignations, said it would not be difficult to tackle the problem “if we want to.”

Cyprus has seen many reports of match fixing in recent years, but the authorities have so far failed to identify any suspects, let alone get convictions.

One case concerning a referee and a former referee who is also the chairman of a second division side is currently in court.

Papacharalambous said that every time they ruffled any feathers, those involved appeared to have political coverage and support.

His committee is unable to function under the existing law but despite receiving promises from parties that they would do everything they could, nothing has been done.

“If there is no proper legislation, I have no job here,” Papacharalambous said.

The much-touted phone tapping law that was meant to afford police with a valuable weapon in tackling crime has so far failed to yield any results.

Papacharalambous met President Nicos Anastasiades recently who pledged to either appoint new members or replace the entire committee.

“My position is that you cannot replace a section of the committee,” he said.

“We are very far from tackling corruption,” Papacharalambous added, blaming governments, parties and club officials for the sorry state of affairs.


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