Cypriot and foreign basketball players are involved in match-fixing scandals, according to an independent probe commissioned by the Cyprus Sports Ethics and Protection Committee.
The probe’s 523-page report was handed to Attorney General George Savvides by the head of the committee, Andreas Kapardis.
According to a Phileleftheros daily, Kapardis also told Savvides the body was looking into another seven reports of corruption in Cyprus sport.
The probe was launched after a complaint filed by the Cyprus Basketball Association regarding three basketball games which recorded highly unusual betting activity for a Cypriot basketball game.
The three games were APOP-ENAD, ENAD-APOP and ENAD-APOEL.
An investigation has found irrefutable evidence that basketball players, agents and club officials had betted on the suspect games.
Under Cypriot law, people directly involved in a sport cannot engage in betting activities involving their team.
Phileleftheros said there is evidence that a number of basketball players and officials placed bets on the ENAD-APOEL game.
Regarding the ENAD-APOP fixture, the probe found evidence of manipulation. However, the betting companies abroad did not provide information; requesting it had to come from the police.
The report is expected to be handed to the police by the Attorney General with instructions for further investigation.
In a statement, Savvides said that investigations carried out by the committee into corruption in sports should be carried out as quickly as possible, and the Legal Service will immediately study any complaints.
“On the part of the Legal Service, we have assured the committee that as soon as any of their reports come to our attention, the necessary steps will be taken”, said Savvides.
“These cases are among the most difficult to prove in the courts.
“We believe the greatest weapon in the fight against this type of crime will be the legal monitoring of telephone conversations from which satisfactory testimony can be obtained, which will take the cases to court”.
Savvides referred to similar cases in Greece, Italy, and Spain, which authorities resolved by resorting to tabbing phone conversations of the main suspects.
“Unfortunately, it has not yet been possible to take advantage of the legislation passed in 2020 to enable such monitoring [in Cyprus], but I am sure that when this is done, we will be able to yield better results”.
The Attorney General argued that efforts in recent years had had success, as a football player was recently convicted after being found guilty of betting on a game he participated in.
He said that there was another similar case which, unfortunately, had been dropped after the main witnesses pulled out.
The Cyprus Sports Ethics and Protection Committee is looking at another seven cases of corruption.
The cases involve complaints filed by the Cyprus Football Association of grassroots match-fixing from U14 upwards.
One complaint regards the manipulation of games by club officials to determine which team would be relegated.
Another complaint involves fixing grassroots games by referees.
The CFA has also filed reports regarding unusually high betting activity for the Cyprus Cup game between Anorthosis and PAEEK.
Another football game, a second-tier match between Olympias Frenaros and AEZ Zakaki, has also reportedly attracted unusually high betting activity.
The Cyprus Shooting Federation and the Cyprus Racing Association have also filed complaints regarding the mismanagement of finances.