Nicosia, December 24, 2014/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Kyriacos Kyriacou
The first arrest warrant was issued on Tuesday night in Limassol, Cyprus in connection with the match-fixing and corruption accusations against the Cyprus Football Association released by international Cypriot referee Marios Panayi.
The warrant was issued against 40-year-old Panayiotis Panayiotou, an official of Aris football club, after the former chairman of the same team, Kyriacos Hadjikyriacou reported that he received threats from Panayiotou after his voluntary testimony to the police last Saturday, concerning Aris’ relegation in 2012.
According to police sources, the suspect was not found in his house and is still wanted.
Police raid in CFA
The Cyprus Police raided on Monday night on the headquarters of the Cyprus Football Association, confiscating 27 computers, an external hard drive and a number of documents.
Justice and Public Order Minister Ionas Nicolaou said all allegations about match fixing and football league manipulation will be thoroughly investigated.
Invited to comment on last night`s raid that followed Marios Panagi`s lengthy statement to the police, the minister said all allegations will have to be fully investigated and all necessary evidence gathered and if necessary, there will be arrests.
He said that the prosecuting authorities acknowledge the fact that this is an issue of high priority.
Red and yellow dossiers
Asked about the “red” and “yellow” dossiers sent by UEFA to the CFA in the past, Nicolaou said that a number of these have been forwarded to the Attorney-General’s office.
Cyprus international referee Marios Panayi claimed a few days ago in a packed press conference that he has evidence of extensive match fixing and corruption in Cypriot professional football.
He exposed names and accused the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) deputy chairman Giorgos Koumas to be pulling the strings.
Panayi claimed that he has have recorded conversations, documents and other evidence exposing other officials within the CFA and football chairmen.
According to his claims, CFA appoints referees who are willing to shape the game’s outcome and that they are the ones who decide which teams are relegated.
He also claimed that CFA chairman, Kostakis Koutsokoumnis is just a straw-man who contacts referee before matches.
The referee accused the head of the Cyprus Refereeing Committee, Hans Reijgwart, for following orders and blamed him for sidelining him because he knows to much and wasn’t willing to do their bidding.
Koutsokomounis denied accusation against him and said that CFA will investigate Panayis’ claims.
The international referee testified everything to police.