Club chairman and referee arrested over match-fixing

1 min read

Cyprus police have arrested the chairman of second division Cypriot football club Ayia Napa and an upcoming referee in connection with match-fixing.

The duo appeared at Larnaca court on Wednesday where police requested, they be remanded in custody for eight days.

Chairman of Ayia Napa FC, Demetris Masias, a former international referee and football agent, along with referee Andreas Constantinou was arrested on Tuesday afternoon.

The two are suspected altering the outcome of Saturday’s second division fixture between Othellos Athienou and Ayia Napa.

Police took action after Othellos players claimed that they had been approached by Masias to throw the game.

Ayia Napa walked away with the three points after winning 1-0 with a disputed penalty given at the 96’ minute after referee Constantinou had handed three red cards to Othelos players in the last 10 minutes of playing time.

Authorities were called to look at the match after some Othellos players had pressed the “Red button” online application to report possible match-fixing introduced by the Cyprus Footballers Association.

The players were questioned by the police, with one of the witnesses claiming that Masias had offered him €10,000 in order to fix the result.

An Othellos player allegedly refused to throw the game telling Masias “May the best team win”.

During court hearings on Wednesday a player testified that when he had complained to Constantinou over his decisions, the referee allegedly responded: “We have to get things over with, as I will not be doing another second division game”.

Constantinou is an upcoming referee and has officiated a number of first division fixtures.

The arrests follow the government’s pledge to crack down on corruption in football after European governing body UEFA recently sent six notices of Cypriot matches, it believes were corrupted.