SPORTS

PM calls for end to Calciopoulos

Prime Minister George Papandreou on March 10 reportedly demanded an end to the so-called Calciopoulos scandal of alleged match-fixing in Greek soccer, while one of the accused, Achilleas Beos, blamed the scandal on former Panathinaikos president Nikolas Pateras.

The scandal, concerning officials from soccer clubs Olympiakos, Panathinaikos and Olympiakos Volou allegedly trying to influence the performance and appointment of referees to a domestic and a European game, brought about the intervention of the head of the government.

Papandreou reportedly spoke from Paris to Culture Minister Pavlos Geroulanos and Justice Minister Haris Kastanidis, asking them to put an end to the story that has been dogging the Greek game.

Earlier in the day Olympiakos Volou owner Beos countered accusations against him, suggesting that the recorded material lawyer Alexis Kougias had produced a day earlier was the product of creative editing instigated by former Panathinaikos chief Pateras.

During a later radio interview, however, Kougias alleged that the most revealing recordings were not those he had publicized, but another one involving ”the heads of the sport in Greece talking about [referee Giorgos] Daloukas.”

Speaking at a press conference, Beos denied almost everything included in one of the two recordings that Kougias revealed concerning the Super League match between Aris and Panathinaikos, while avoiding comment on what the other recording had suggested about the Maccabi Tel Aviv vs Olympiakos Europa League game.

“The recordings they have presented would not even have been accepted in Tanzania. I am already laughing. How can a serious state take fake recordings into account?” Beos stated in reference to the investigation a prosecutor has already launched and toward which Kougias has submitted some of the alleged recordings.

Beos suggested that Pateras was annoyed at him because the former had ”excelled in becoming a successful club president” and accused Pateras of being the one to record his voice secretly and then edit the CDs in such a way that they would make Beos appear to say things he hadn?t.

“Soccer has no need for people like Pateras, but for people with masculinity,” thundered Beos, who also suggested that Greece’s Financial Crimes Squad, whom he called ”suckers,” is after him and Olympiakos Volou because its head, Yiannis Kapeleris, is a friend of Pateras.

The Olympiakos Volou strongman denied he had influenced the appointment of Daloukas to the game between Aris and Panathinaikos or that he called him at halftime, as Kougias had suggested, but admitted he did call the Volos-born ref after the match.

Beos went on to request that the prosecutor look into the classified data of phone calls between himself, Daloukas and Pateras, arguing that it was Pateras, then the head of Panathinaikos, who called Daloukas before the game in Thessaloniki last September.

Daloukas, whom Olympiakos president Vangelis Marinakis was, according to the recordings, intending to approach to offer him 200,000 euros, said during a radio interview on Wednesday, ”I resisted pressure from both sides.”

Kougias stated in another radio interview that Daloukas was the subject of the conversation between the top two officials of Greek soccer, possibly meaning the head of the federation, Sofoklis Pilavios, and that of the Super League and Olympiakos, Marinakis.

Pateras responded later on March 10 with a statement suggesting that ”Beos is such a bad scriptwriter, despite being a very successful club official. I repeat that I have never given out any recordings as I never had any. As for his slander against me, he will have to prove it to the prosecutor.”

On March 11, Kougias, Daloukas and former referee Sotiris Vorgias are to testify before the prosecutor investigating the Calciopoulos scandal, Greece’s answer to Italy’s Calciopoli in 2006 that saw Juventus stripped of two championship titles and relegated to the second division.