The Second Vice President of UEFA Executive Committee Marios Lefkaritis has expressed the determination of UEFA to exercise direct disciplinary control over Cyprus Football Association (CFA) if it will not apply strict sanctions to combat match fixing. Speaking to Cyprus News Agency, he also noted that UEFA will not bring objections to slightly different sanctions that will be proposed by CFA.
At the same time, CFA First Vice President Charis Loizides told CNA that the Board of Directors will discuss and will decide on the sanctions and measures that it will propose, noting however that the Federation did not refused to combat match fixing. As he said the Federation adopted strict decisions last Summer, which did not put in action due to the refusal of UEFA to name who is to blame in its notifications.
The chairman of the Cyprus Sports Organisation (KOA) told CNA that what we should have done as a country, it is now imposed to us by UEFA, and also stressed the need to approve the legislation of the Ministry of Justice to fight match-fixing.
In his statement to CNA and asked whether UEFA will accept the counter proposals of CFA for heavy fines at the first notification and the UEFA penalties to be imposed from the second notification, Lefkaritis expressed the estimation that the European organisation will accept them.
He then said that UEFA would exert direct disciplinary actions to CFA and the football clubs in Cyprus if the federation will be unable to apply strict penalties to its members for corruption and match-fixing.
Asked if the image of the Cyprus football abroad in regards with the issue of match-fixing is so bad, Lefkaritis said “yes, it is”, noting that this due to the noise created around betting and suspicious for match-fixing.
Called to comment on the bill of the Cyprus Ministry of Justice for the manipulation of sports events, Lefkaritis said that it is in the right direction, noting however that he is not aware of what it exactly contains.
Loizides speaking to CNA said that the Board of Directors of CFA will convene next week to discuss the issue and the recommendations from UEFA. We will see the recommendations in order to understand what exactly they propose and we will reach all the necessary decisions in order to tackle this terrible issue, he added.
Asked if the Federation is willing to solve the problem, Loizides said that there is a will, stressing that decisions and measures were taken last Summer, which included strict penalties. However, those penalties, as he said, could not be imposed due to the refusal of UEFA to attribute the responsibility in the notifications that sent to CFA.
“The decisions we took last Summer were very strict, almost as strict as those now proposed by UEFA”, he said and stressed that he does not accept the accusation for passivity and delay by the Federation.
The Chairman of KOA Kleanthis Georgiads called by CNA to comment of the issue, stressed that
when we cannot do what we supposed to do, some others and particularly now UEFA, will impose to us specific measures.
Georgiades referred to two parallel procedures, the one that deals with the disciplinary aspect that CFA should decide to apply when it receives notifications from UEFA and the other one concerns the criminal aspect, which it is included in the Ministry`s bill for the manipulation of sport events.