The sports ethics committee recommended on Wednesday that criminal proceedings be brought against Cyprus Football Association (CFA) president Giorgos Koumas, while his lawyers hit back saying his right to be innocent until proven guilty is being violated.

The committee’s recommendations will now be sent to the attorney general.

They decided to adopt in their entirety the conclusions of the investigators Ilias Stefanou and Efthymios Efthymiou and say they will deliver their findings to the attorney general next Tuesday.

In addition, they have requested the appointment of a criminal investigator and a meeting with Sports Minister Athena Michaelidou to inform her of the findings.

The announcement by Koumas’ lawyers, Christos Triantafyllides and Marios Orphanides, stated that the Sports Ethics Committee decision “does not impress us since it is fully aligned with all the positions and statements made in the previous days by the committee – in violation of Article 8 of the relevant legislation – and by extension it is a pre-decided decision.”

“From our side, we will continue not to get into the essence of the matter and we will expect the continuation based on the procedure provided by the legislation. However, we cannot but repeat that our client’s constitutional and legal rights have already been violated, based on the procedure followed to date. The latter, through us, once again declares that he did nothing wrong,” they said.

Finally, Triantafyllides and Orphanides said that “we find that this case has given the opportunity once again to be confirmed by the various statements and positions that are made, that in Cyprus the presumption of innocence has ceased to exist and that everyone for their own reasons (personal, political, etc.) takes advantage of the data, ignoring that no one is guilty unless proven guilty by the competent court of the Republic of Cyprus.”

Koumas stands accused of having created an “unfair advantage” for some clubs by way of manipulating the money paid to them as part of television rights deals.

It is alleged that money paid to the CFA by CytaVision for television rights to domestic Cypriot football matches “was distributed by the CFA, in time and quantity, according to the will of Giorgos Koumas”.

Additionally, Koumas is accused of having granted a bonus of €200,000 to one club “without reasonable cause”. It is alleged that the bonus was granted while the club in question was participating in matches surrounded by “suspicious betting activity”.