Ten players receive lifetime bans after match-fixing probe in South Korea’s top football league.
|Last season’s Super League champions Olympiakos are at the centre of the match-fixing allegations [GALLO/GETTY]
Greece international Avraam Papadopoulos faces prosecution after being named on Friday in a list of individuals connected with the ongoing investigation into match-fixing in Greek football.
The Olympiakos defender, who played for Greece at last year’s World Cup and is a regular in the national team, was one of 68 people named by the Athens First Instance Court Prosecutor, Eleni Raikou.
Greek Super League president and owner of Greek champions Olympiakos, Vangelis Marinakis also features on the list, accused of working with a criminal gang and taking part in bribery to fix the outcome of matches.
“The case does not touch us,” Marinakis responded for himself and Olympiakos.
He said there is no “evidence that can prove his guilt” and that he believes he is the victim of a mudslinging campaign against him.
The club’s former president Athanasios Kanellopoulos has also been implicated, while former Olympiakos midfielder Kostas Mendrinos, now with Aris, and the Spaniard Jose Reyes of second division Diagoras are also named.
Greece under-21 national coach Giorgos Georgiadis, whose clubs as a player included Olympiakos and Newcastle United, features on the list as well.
Basketball star Yiannis Bourousis was also indicted after the National Intelligence Service (EYP) released transcripts of a phone conversation with Kavala football club owner Makis Psomiadis in which Bourousis allegedly asks for “more” performance-enhancing drugs.
Psomiadis was one of 10 people arrested on Wednesday over involvement in the latest match-fixing scandal to rock Greek football.
The total number of people reportedly involved has now risen to 83 and includes club owners, players, referees, other football officials and a chief of police.
Among the charges were involvement in criminal activities, fraud, extortion, money laundering, illegal gambling and illegal possession of firearms.
Heading the list of those charged were Super League club owners Achilleas Beos of Olympiakos Volos and Psomiadis, along with Kavala coach Giannis Papakostas.
Greek judicial authorities began the investigation after a list of 41 suspicious matches were submitted to the country’s football federation by European football’s ruling body UEFA.
The list included two matches from the Super League and many from the second division.
Football prosecutor Andreas Fakos said on Friday he will look into the charges, which may lead to the relegation of teams, heavy fines and bans from European competition.
As it stands now, possible victims from the Super League would be Olympiakos, Olympiakos Volos, Kavala, Asteras Tripolis and Corfu, who have representatives mentioned among the suspects.
General Secretary of Sports Panagiotis Bitsaxis said on Friday that the start of the coming season could be delayed because of the investigation.
“Nothing is obvious at this time. We will study the situation until August 25. Everything is possible,” he said.