Greece are not match-fixers – federation

Athens: Greek football federation president Sophocles Pilavios insisted Monday that the country`s national team was not involved in the match-fixing scandal which has rocked the sport.

The scandal erupted last week but took a further twist on Monday when the widely-circulated Athens daily newspaper Ta Nea reported in a front page story that a new match-fixing case may involve the Greek national team.

Ta Nea said that judicial authorities are looking into this new case which it said involved individuals who have been named in a previous case and some new names as well.

The newspaper said it was informed that phone conversations out of Thessaloniki involve a number of football officials, including Super League club owners and referees, and that "even the national team does not escape from the conversations".

"The involvement of the national team in this case is based on erroneous information," Pilavios said in a statement.

He added that the Greek team had achieved successes in the past due to the high performances of the players and coaches and that "nothing that can be considered guilty in any way has come to my perception".

International defender Avraam Papadopoulos, however, was named on Friday in a list of individuals connected with the ongoing investigation.

The Olympiakos defender, who played for Greece at last year`s World Cup and is a regular in the national team, was one of 68 people named by the Athens First Instance Court Prosecutor, Eleni Raikou.

Judicial authorities have named a total of 83 individuals who have been implicated in the scandal.

Greek Super League president and owner of Greek champions Olympiakos, Vangelis Marinakis is also on the list, accused of working with a criminal gang and taking part in bribery to fix the outcome of matches.

Marinakis is likely to face a vote of no confidence when the Super League committee meets on Tuesday.

Over the weekend Panos Bitsaxis, the General Secretary for Sports, called on Marinakis to resign from the chair of the Super League. He also said that it is possible that the start of the new league championship may not start on time.

Greek judicial authorities began the investigation after a list of 41 suspicious matches were submitted to the country`s football federation by European football`s ruling body UEFA.

The list included two matches from the Super League and many from the second division.

According to reports in the Greek media on Saturday, the prosecutor has added another 13 matches to the list, including the Athens derby between Olympiakos and main rivals Panathinaikos on February 19.

Bureau Report

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