Betting authority boss under investigation

1 min read

President of the National Betting Authority, Ioanna Fiakkou, is under criminal investigation in connection to match-fixing claims after she refused to answer MPs’ questions at a House hearing.

The House’s Ethics Committee called Fiakkou after she refused to provide information about corruption in football.

Reportedly, Fiakkou refused to hand over information to the Cyprus Sports Ethics Committee, former board member and lawyer Charis Savvides claimed.

As then head of the Sports Ethics Committee, Savvides had been investigating allegations by investor in Nicosia club Omonia FC Stavros Papastavrou about corrupt acts by prominent people within the football association.

Savvides claimed he had asked Fiakkou to provide relevant information on suspicious betting activity in 2021, but she refused to do so, citing personal data protection.

The required information involved a specific betting company active on the island.

Fiakkou was invited to give her side of events but refused to answer questions posed by House Ethics Committee chair AKEL MP Irene Charalambides.

Infuriated, Charalambides demanded that Fiakkou respect the House and answer the questions, noting that concealment is a criminal offence.

The head of the National Betting Authority responded by saying her obligation is to report to the investigating authorities, asking for the intervention of the Legal Service.

A spokesperson for the Legal Service told the committee that a person under investigation has the right not to answer because anything they say before the House Committee can be used against them in court.

Those comments revealed that Fiakkou is under investigation in connection with match-fixing, with Charalambides telling her she should have made that clear to MPs.

Last month, Savvides, the former head of the Sports Ethics Committee, had told MPs that the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) had recently sent an email involving red notices for 16 matches likely to have been manipulated.

He claimed a coverup by the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) and a UEFA official.

Savvides told MPs the CFA did not take the designated measures to investigate warnings over possible fixed matches sent by UEFA and even denied receiving any red notice.