Call for UEFA help in probing possible fixed matches

THE Attorney-general has ordered the police to submit a new request to European football government body UEFA for help in investigating the files that were sent to Cyprus on possible fixed matches.

Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos yesterday confirmed the AG’s request.

“The Cyprus police will submit a new request to UEFA immediately, through the Cyprus Football Association but also a company that is connected to UEFA, in an effort to secure added evidence for the investigation into claims that there are fixed football games,” said Katsounotos.

He added that AG Petros Clerides sent the relevant files back to the force, with specific orders to re-open the case and seek more specific information from UEFA.

UEFA sent nine files in total to Cyprus in March and May last year, listing matches in the local championship that were suspected to have been fixed as part of a betting scam that bagged those involved millions in profits.

At the time, the police said the case had been closed as there was not enough evidence to back the claims and they had little to work on.

DISY’s Ionas Nicolaou yesterday welcomed the news that police were trying to reopen the case, saying that he hoped that all means would be used to ensure the case is fully investigated.

Referring to recent media reports claiming that money made from the illegal betting ring in Greece had been laundered in Cyprus, Nicolaou contradicted the police, who had said that they received no request from the Greek authorities to investigate such claims.

“Cypriot legislation creates the obligation of a self appointed investigation regarding the fixed football games, without the police needing to receive notification from the Greek authorities,” said Nicolaou.

“The Attorney-general has already given orders for these cases to be reassessed,” he added. “We can’t see dozens of people being led to justice in Greece for the same cases and here in Cyprus, we are just starting out.”

Katsounotos said a moratorium would now be put on statements by the police on this matter, until there are important developments.

“The less said about this investigation the better,” he pointed out, adding that this shouldn’t be seen as an effort to cover the affair up.