SPORTS

Olympiakos Volou banned by UEFA, not Super League

On the day that European soccer?s governing body UEFA appeared to ban Olympiakos Volou, one of the Greek clubs implicated in a match-fixing scandal, from the Europa League, the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) cleared the same team, as well as Kavala, to take part in next season?s top-flight Super League.

Olympiakos Volou, which qualified for the Europa League for the first time at the end of last season, was due to take on French giant Paris St-Germain in the playoff round, but a UEFA disciplinary committee appeared on Wednesday to have blocked the club, based in Volos, central Greece, from taking part in this game.

Although the European soccer authority had not issued a statement by late on Wednesday night, Volos officials who flew to Switzerland said UEFA had thrown the club out of the competition and banned it for the next five years. The club said it will appeal the decision.

UEFA?s apparent decision is in marked contrast to that of EPO, whose appeals committee, made up of two former judges and a lawyer, decided against relegating Volos and Kavala, also implicated in match-fixing allegations. The panel deemed that the clubs should not be held accountable and did not profit from the actions of their respective owners, Achilleas Beos and Makis Psomiadis.

The committee decided to impose a 10-point deduction on Olympiakos Volou and one of eight points for Kavala, effective from the start of the new season. The panel also withdrew the 300,000-euro fine that had been imposed on each club.

Beos, accused of being a key player in the fixing of soccer matches for a betting ring, remains in custody. Psomiadis is still at large.