New laws to stop match-fixing

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News laws are to be introduced in an attempt to clamp down on match-fixing and corruption in Cyprus football, announced Justice Minister George Savvides.

Following Tuesday’s meeting with political parties, members of the ethics and sports protection committee and police chief Kypros Michaelides, the Justice Minister announced a number of measures which are to include new laws.

A legislative team will be tasked with drafting a new set of laws against match-fixing while a special police unit dealing with match-fixing reports will be beefed up.

“The government and all the political parties in our country share the common goal of rooting out match-fixing and corruption in football,” Savvides said.

“We decided to increase the number of police officers who will be dealing with match-fixing to 13. They will analyze all reports they receive so that we can properly investigate every possible case. This is a hugely important decision”.

Savvides said he will reconvene with the party leaders in two months to follow up on the legislative side.

The government, he added, is working on a major project aimed at creating a common law on all sports-related matters and issues. The committee to be set up will be tasked with drafting new and stricter laws to help clear up all the issues.

Savvides did not disclose any information on the ongoing investigation into match-fixing.

“In order for someone to be arrested and detained, we must have very strong evidence of wrongdoing. That’s why I cannot talk about ongoing cases.”

Representing ruling party DISY, MP George Georgiou said his party would assist and co-operate with the government, other parties and competent bodies.

AKEL’s General Secretary Andros Kyprianou said the time was right for such a comprehensive law that would tackle all issues related to corruption and match-fixing in football.

On February 5, AKEL proposed a set of rules that would apply to all sports organisations and an impartial body to which the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) should report directly.

DIKO’s Michalis Damianos said football has been facing serious problems for a very long time noting that justice should be swift in responding to the underworld’s penetration of the game.