Cyprus Mail

Match-fixing case dropped after witnesses retract

The Cyprus police have reached out to the European Union’s Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation (Europol) for help in their investigations into the match-fixing allegations by Romanian player Alexandru Iacob.

The attorney-general was forced to drop match fixing charges against the chairman of a second division football club and a referee after the main prosecution witnesses retracted their statements and refused to appear in court.

The pair were declared hostile witnesses by the state, which was now looking into the possibility of launching legal proceedings against them.

Ayia Napa chairman Demetris Masias, 41, and Andreas Constantinou, 35, were detained In February 2020 on suspicion of rigging the second division fixture between Othellos and Ayia Napa that took place earlier in the month.

Masias is also a player manager and a former top-flight referee.

He was accused of attempting to bribe an Othellos official with €10,000 to lose the game with Ayia Napa.

Constantinou, who officiated the game, showed three red cards to Othellos players and awarded Ayia Napa a penalty on the 97th minute which won them the fixture.

Masias was also accused of trying to influence one of the players he managed, Othellos’ Vasilis Papageorgiou while offering Othellos chairman Vasilis Kafataris €10,000 in return for his team letting Ayia Napa win the game.

However, close to two years later, Kafataris and Papageorgiou were reluctant to testify in a court and would neither adopt the statements they had given police at the time.

This left the Legal Service no choice but to drop the charges against Masias and Constantinou and explore the possibility of prosecuting the former witnesses.

It was the only match fixing case to go to court.




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