Foot­ball - FIFA de­fends hir­ing lawyer of club linked to match­fix­ing

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

FIFA says it com­pleted an “ex­ten­sive and thor­ough” process be­fore hir­ing the top lawyer of a club linked to match-fix­ing. FIFA says Theodore Gian­nikos, head of le­gal af­fairs at 43-time Greek cham­pion Olympiakos, was re­cruited to work with mem­ber fed­er­a­tions af­ter “a re­view of his back­ground in the foot­ball in­dus­try.” Gian­nikos is a Court of Ar­bi­tra­tion for Sport judge and mem­ber of UEFA’s club com­pe­ti­tions com­mit­tee which helps over­see the Cham­pi­ons League. He leaves Olympiakos af­ter nine years, while club pres­i­dent Van­ge­lis Mari­nakis awaits a crim­i­nal ju­di­cial panel’s de­ci­sion on bring­ing charges in a match­fix­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Mari­nakis de­nies wrong­do­ing, and Gian­nikos is not im­pli­cated in the case. As mem­ber ser­vices di­rec­tor, Gian­nikos will work with 211 fed­er­a­tions in­clud­ing Greece, where FIFA has sent in an emer­gency man­age­ment com­mit­tee.

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