Omonia urges UEFA to punish ‘corrupt’ Cypriot football

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Cyprus football’s credibility has taken another blow as Omonia Nicosia plans to call on the European and world football governing bodies UEFA and FIFA to intervene against corruption in the local game.

Omonia wants UEFA and FIFA to investigate the matter and in the meanwhile suspend Cypriot teams from all international competition.

Omonia FC said in a statement It has “collected enough evidence over the years to persuade UEFA and FIFA to open a case about football in Cyprus.”

Omonia’s call to UEFA and FIFA was followed by another topflight club Limassol’s AEL.

“We believe there is widespread corruption in Cypriot football and the situation is not likely to change under the current Cyprus FA leadership,” Omonia said in a statement on its official website.

Omonia claims that the final outcome of several of their games has been tainted by poor and biased refereeing.

“Fixed games sadly remain a common practice and a widespread reality in our world,” the club said. “This has to stop and that is why we decided to finally speak out.”

AEL also made serious allegations about people connected to the underworld involved in Cypriot football.

Omonia’s plea to international football governing bodies came after it lost its last game against Apollon Limassol, on January 4 in Limassol. The score was 2-1, with Omonia arguing that Apollon’s goals were a result of bad refereeing.

The game’s referee Lucas Sotiriou has been criticised for his performance.

He later received threatening messages and on January 6 filed a complaint to the police, who sent patrols outside his house in Larnaca.

Nicosia arch-rivals APOEL also released a statement on Friday calling on Omonia to prove their allegations.

Cyprus football suffered a similar blow in December 2014, when former referee Marios Panayi caused an uproar by speaking openly about match-fixing.

He claimed that he had recordings, documents and other evidence proving that members of the CFA were fixing matches.