Cypriot football in turmoil after match-fixing notifications

Cypriot football was once again in turmoil on Wednesday after the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) said it has received notifications from the European football governing body UEFA, about possible match-fixing.

The CFA released information, naming five games, three second division fixtures and two league cup games, saying that suspicious betting activity had been recorded on them.

The UEFA said the stakes played on the five games was beyond normal betting.

The CFA said it has forwarded the files on the five games to the police for further investigation.

The second division league was suspended for a week last year following similar game-fixing reports and was resumed only after CFA imposed stiff penalties on the clubs named.

Suspect teams forfeited an annual state grant of 60,000 euros, while the CFA announced further strict penalties, namely deduction of points from clubs named in two reports and suspension for five years of clubs named in five reports.

the CFA received about 80 notices about suspect soccer games in recent years, but police investigations failed to establish people involved in the game fixing.

First division team Omonia of Nicosia, one of the biggest in Cyprus clubs and currently second in the standings, made an unprecedented complaint last week about corrupt referees, and accused CFA chairman George Koumas of being unable to stem corruption or indifferent in the face of game results being changed by bribed referees.

Similar accusations were also made by AEL of Limassol, another first division team.

Both teams said they would apply to the UEFA and the world soccer governing body FIFA for redress.

A former referee who in 2014 rocked the Cypriot football when he claimed he had recordings and other evidence proving that CFA members were involved in fixing matches, said he will renew his accusations.

At the time, he named Giorgos Koumas, then CFA deputy chairman, as the man pulling the strings behind the curtains.

Police who investigated the claims said the evidence provided could not stand in court.