Greece pledges to get to the bottom of match-fixing allegations

Greek authorities vowed on Thursday to get to the bottom of an unfolding match-fixing scandal after 10 people were arrested as part of a probe based on irregular betting patterns identified by European soccer’s ruling body UEFA.

An Athens prosecutor is expected to name the 10 suspects, all Greek nationals, later on Thursday. Charges include betting fraud, money laundering and participation in a criminal group, police said.

Christos Papoutsis, minister of citizens’ protection, said on Thursday that the police would ?decisively? investigate any claims of graft within Greek soccer.

?I want to call on all responsible parties, clubs and every citizen that is truly interested in cleaning up Greek soccer to provide the police with information that can cast light on all aspects of this affair,? Papoutsis said in a statement.

The probe was launched after UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, submitted a list of 41 suspicious matches to the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO). The list involved games from the Super League, Greece’s top flight, as well the second division over the last three seasons. Several Greek Cup games were also mentioned in the document.

Deputy Citizens? Protection Minister Manolis Othonas connected the probe to Greece’s ongoing struggle to clamp down on corruption, a drive seen as tantamount in tackling the country’s mammoth debt crisis.

?This affair is of paramount importance,? Othonas said. ?There will be no tolerance, no exceptions and no compromise. This is what the whole of Greek society is demanding, not just people linked to football,? he said.

?We are living in a new era in our country, where pockets of lawlessness and corruption that until recently were considered no-go areas or had high-level connections and protection no longer enjoy informal immunity,? he added.

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