Ten charged for fixing, five sought
Ten people have been charged and another five are being sought in connection to an extensive matchfixing ring in Greek soccer that is alleged to have included two of the game’s most controversial figures, the president of Olympiakos Volou, Achilleas Beos, and Kavala’s owner Makis Psomiadis.
Police released yesterday the names of the 10 men arrested on Wednesday in connection with 41 suspicious soccer games during the last three seasons.
The 10 men arrested are Beos, Psomiadis’s son, Stavros, who is president of Kavala, the owner of second-division club Ilioupoli, Giorgos Tsakogiannis, former Ilioupoli president Nikos Chalkos, the coach of second-division side Ethnikos Asteras, Nikos Pantelis, former player Dimitris Zavandias, two bookmakers, Andreas Dimopoulos and Vassilis Karakoulias, player agent Thanasis Dotsis, and Nikos Zamanis, who was identified as Beos’s bodyguard.
A prosecutor charged the suspects with forming a criminal organization, serial fraud, aggravated blackmail, money laundering, bribery to fix the results of matches, illegal betting and illegal ownership of weapons. All 10 were remanded in custody until Monday, when they will be called to testify.
Deputy Citizens’ Protection Minister Manolis Othonas connected the probe to Greece’s ongoing struggle to clamp down on corruption, a drive seen as significant in tackling the country’s mammoth debt crisis. “We are living in a new era in our country, where pockets of lawlessness and corruption that until recently were considered no-go areas or had high-level connections and protection no longer enjoy informal immunity,” he said.
Police, who were helped in their investigation by the National Intelligence Service (EYP), also have arrest warrants for five other suspects including Psomiadis and Hellenic Football Federation official Yiannis Papadopoulos.