Cyprus Mail

‘Speedy trials and strict penalties will curb corruption in sports’

Speedy trials and strict penalties for cases of corruption in sports are needed as deterrents, according to deputy attorney-general Savvas Angelides.

His comments came at a conference organised as part of the IntegriSport Next European project, in which the Cyprus police are also participating.

The project is co-funded by the EU’s Erasmus+ programme, and aims to raise awareness among law enforcement and judicial authorities about criminal activities within the world of sport across Europe.

Angelides said that recent measures against match fixing and corruption have been adopted in order to bring Cyprus up to the European standards.

Reiterating what police chief Stelios Papatheodorou said in his earlier intervention at the conference, he also said that to combat such issues the assistance and cooperation of competent and relevant bodies, sports associations, betting companies and public authorities is needed.

“Mutual cooperation with local and international bodies is very important, as it is understanding the role athletes play in match fixing and corruption.

“We need to work on deterrents and prevention in order to anticipate any criminal wrongdoing,” Angelides said.

According to Papatheodorou, from 2019 to date, 19 cases of allegedly fixed matches have been reported to the authorities, all second division and cup games.

Angelides said the attorney-general office is also doing its best to cut delays in bringing cases of corruption and match fixing to trial, but added that at times delays are needed to protect witnesses and avoid them backing out from testifying in front of a judge.

“It is everyone’s duty and obligation to protect sport from corruption and athletes from being linked to the world of organized crime,” Angelides concluded.

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