SPORTS

Controversial names top match-fixing suspects’ bill

Two of Greek soccer’s most controversial figures, the president of Olympiakos Volou, Achilleas Beos, and the owner of Kavala, Makis Psomiadis, are among those accused of organizing an extensive match-fixing network that authorities started cracking on June 22.

Police released the names of the 10 men arrested on Wednesday in connection with 41 suspicious soccer games during the last three seasons, as well as the names of five more men that remain at large, while the extent of the scandal of match-fixing in the Greek game, dubbed «Calciopoulos,» is yet to be made known.

The 10 men arrested are Beos, the son of Psomiadis, Stavros, who is president of Kavala, the owner of second-division club Ilioupoli, Giorgos Tsakogiannis, former Ilioupoli president Nikos Chalkos, the coach of second-division side Ethnikos Asteras, Nikos Pantelis, former player Dimitris Zavandias, as well as two bookmakers, Andreas Dimopoulos and Vassilis Karakoulias, player agent Thanasis Dotsis, and Nikos Zamanis, identified as Beos?s bodyguard.

All 10 appeared before the prosecutor at noon on June 23, while Beos claimed he was ill, before being taken to the hospital for a short while. All are likely to be detained until Monday, when they will appear before a prosecutor again.

The five men the police have arrest warrants for are Makis Psomiadis, the coach of second-division Levadiakos Yiannis Papacostas, Ilioupoli player Michalis Nikolopoulos, Greek federation official Yiannis Papadopoulos and bookmaker Vassilis Geortsiakos.

The prosecutor has also filed charges against another 70 people who have not been named, but rumors are raging that they concern very well-known names from Greek sports and society in general.

According to unconfirmed reports, the list includes the head of a major Super League club, whose voice is allegedly heard on one of the 85 CDs in the prosecutor?s possession. The suspect had been involved in the fixing of his team’s match against another major club this season and was asking for the protection of the game?s referee.

Police spokesman Thanassis Kokkalakis stated that more arrests are in the pipeline.

The charges concerning fraudulent betting, money laundering, participation in a criminal gang, and even possession of guns would bring prison terms ranging from five years to life, while the clubs found guilty will face relegation and a ban from European competitions.