Top soccer chief linked to fixing
Olympiakos owner and Super League president Vangelis Marinakis and Greece international defender Avraam Papadopoulos were among the 68 further suspects named in connection to match-fixing allegations by an Athens prosecutor yesterday.
First instance prosecutor Eleni Raikou made public a list of the 68 suspects after 15 had already been named earlier in the week. Ten of those, including Olympiakos Volou chairman Achilleas Beos, have already been arrested.
The 15 are alleged to have formed the hard core of the ring and face criminal charges that carry prison sentences of between five years and life. The other 70 suspects named on Friday face lesser charges but the accusations are nevertheless serious.
Marinakis, the owner of the Greek champions and head of the organization that runs Greece’s top soccer league, is accused of colluding with a criminal gang and taking part in bribery to fix the outcome of matches. The Olympiakos chief denied any part in the affair. “The match-fixing issue has nothing to do with us,” he said. “There is no evidence pointing to any wrongdoing.”
Papadopoulos, an Olympiakos player, Kostas Mendrinos, formerly of Olympiakos but now with Aris, and Jose Reyes of Diagoras are some of the players named among the 70 suspects. Referees Dimitris Kalopoulos and Yiannis Spathas have also been identified as taking part in the match-fixing ring.
Meanwhile, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) decided to sack Yiannis Papadopoulos, an EPO employee who was named among the suspects. EPO also decided to suspend five referees for their alleged involvement, while it is said that Avraam Papadopoulos and Under-21 national coach Giorgos Georgiadis, also identified as a suspect, have no future in the national teams anymore.
Sources also revealed to Kathimerini that there is a network of offshore companies in the Far East, with at least one of them based in Malaysia, which conducted the laundering of profits from the illegal betting on the fixed matches. Authorities are following the money trail but cooperation with Malaysian justice is not easy given the absence of a protocol of judicial cooperation between the two countries.