SPORTS

Marinakis to face criminal charge in court and give away Olympiakos

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

Olympiakos owner and president Vangelis Marinakis will have to relinquish control of the Piraeus club – as will the owners of Atromitos and Levadiakos – within 15 days from the publication on Wednesday of the irrevocable decision of the Athens Council of Appeals Court Judges sending these three officials, the former head of the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) Giorgos Sarris and 24 other people to court for a number of crimes and misdemeanors related to the corruption in Greek soccer.

The appeals judges’ irrevocable order n. 2050/2017 accuses Marinakis of a crime concerning match-fixing (against an original proposal by a prosecutor for five crimes), as well as of a misdemeanor regarding the set-up of a gang to the effect of fixing soccer match results.

Marinakis, as well as Levadiakos owner Yiannis Kobotis and Atromitos president Giorgos Spanos, must give away their clubs by November 23 for facing a criminal charge, as the law dictates.

If the three club owners do not adhere to the legal provisions to concede their clubs, the state intervenes through the General Secretariat for Sport to enforce the ruling.

Among the other people accused are former EPO officials, former referees and referee officials, soccer players and the Portuguese former coach of Atromitos Ricardo Sa Pinto.

It is now up to EPO to decide the immediate disciplinary measures it will take against the officials in question, before the case reaches the court. The ruling might also have an indirect impact on the ownership of English Championship club Nottingham Forest that also belongs to Marinakis.

It also remains to be seen what UEFA’s reaction will be – given an identical precedent with Turkish clubs earlier this decade – either on its own initiative or after a case brought by another Greek club – as there appears to be an interest in this direction by at least one rival of Olympiakos.

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