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Ex soccer federation chief banned from leaving the country

Former Greek soccer federation president Giorgos Sarris was banned from leaving the country on Wednesday after his marathon testimony before a state corruption prosecutor who is looking into a major match-fixing scandal.

Prosecutor Giorgos Andreadis ordered Sarris to place a 50,000 euros guarantee, banned him from leaving the country and prohibited him from getting involved in soccer in the country until a trial is set.

Sarris had resigned as president of the federation last December under pressure generated by the match-fixing scandal which judicial authorities say involve other members of the federation as well.

He faces felony charges for his alleged involvement in the establishment of a criminal gang which fixed Greek matches. Sarris testified for more than five hours Wednesday.

On Thursday, Greek champion Olympiakos’s boss Vangelis Marinakis is scheduled to testify before Andreadis.

Marinakis faces five preliminary charges: the establishment of a criminal gang, match-fixing, fraud, bribery and perjury.

In a statement, Olympiakos said Marinakis will meet Andreadis «to refute perjury and slander against him.”

Marinakis, a shipping magnate who purchased the club in 2010, has built a powerhouse in Olympiakos which has won 17 of the last 19 league championships.

Dozens of soccer officials, referees, players are reportedly involved in the match-fixing scandal which first started to be investigated in 2011, however no one has yet been jailed.

The new leftist government has introduced legislation to reform the federation and impose prison sentences of up to 10 years and fines of up to one million euros for corruption-related cases.

[AFP]