Greek soccer is ‘corrupt,’ Geroulanos says

Minister for culture and sport, Pavlos Geroulanos, on Wednesday welcomed a UEFA pledge to help clean up Greek soccer, describing the domestic league as ?corrupt.?

During a brief visit to Athens on Tuesday, UEFA President Michel Platini promised to dispatch experts to Greece this summer to help reform the country’s soccer leagues following a spate of fan violence at games and a still-unfolding match-fixing scandal. The former French star said he would sent veteran Italian referee Pierluigi Collina to help the process.

Speaking to Skai television early Wednesday, Geroulanos said UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, could provide useful input in dealing with match-fixing, violence, doping, and refereeing.

The minister said that the start of the domestic soccer season may have to be postponed in light of the ongoing probe ? although he would rather see a parallel process, he said.

?Cleaning up Greek soccer could take months,? Geroulanos said.

More than 60 Greek club officials, players, businessmen and others are under investigation in the corruption probe. Ten people were in custody with charges of corruption.

Meanwhile, Cabinet yesterday discussed legislation to clean up the sport, which includes tougher penalties for hooliganism, including jail time, and a major shakeup to the way fan clubs operate.