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Greek ...football report Greek ...football report
by Euro Reporter
2011-03-11 09:11:51
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Greece faces match-fixing claim, football association vows to 'shed light' on allegations

The Greek football federation is promising to "shed light" on allegations of match fixing made by a prominent Athens lawyer who claimed that rampant corruption affected all levels of the country's professional game. But the federation did not say whether it would launch a formal investigation.

Lawyer Alexandros Kouyias, who owns a controlling stake of third-division provincial club Panachaiki, said he had handed judicial authorities taped conversations which he claims provide evidence of attempts to bribe a Greek referee and others. Kouyias on Wednesday said the allegations included a failed attempt to influence an Aug. 5 Europa League match between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Greek league leader Olympiakos.

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Greeks want tougher anti-violence measures


Greek football federation president Sophocles Pilavios has called for harsher penalties for those found guilty of football-related violence, and wants the Greek state to help by reforming current legislation. Greece's history of football-related violence was on display last week in a match involving bitter rivals Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, which Olympiakos won 2-1 thanks to a controversial late goal.

Olympiakos owner Vangelis Marinakis was shown on video after the derby abusing Panathinaikos's French striker Djibril Cisse, the league's leading scorer, just moments after Olympiakos fans kicked and shoved Panathinaikos players as they left the pitch. Marinakis later apologised for his actions and requested that representatives of the clubs meet, but Panathinaikos refused and Cisse lodged a complaint against the club owner.

Cisse has said that he would leave Greece after this season because of the acts of violence in the country, which often spills out of stadiums as fans fight each other and target players and managers to vent their frustration. Pilavios said the federation would introduce five referees next season in Greek Cup matches, admitting that poor officiating has led to much of the violence at the pitches.

"My proposal is to consolidate the sports legislation in a simple way as to ensure that steps will be taken to combat the violence," Pilavios told reporters after a meeting to discuss the increase in violence at matches. "We intend to take certain steps. Firstly, we want to prohibit the use of flares and firecrackers." He also criticized the top flight Super League for not doing enough to stop the violence. "The Super League must reconsider how it operates," he said.

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Djibril Cisse 'quitting Panathinaikos over racist fans'


Cisse has revealed he plans to lodge an official complaint to Uefa after rival fans chanted racist slogans, made monkey noises and waved inflatable bananas at him during a recent game against Olympiakos. According to reports in France, the former Liverpool player's agent is looking into any legal loopholes that could allow his client to cite rights violations and quit the club before the summer.

This would leave Cisse a free agent and clear to sign for another team immediately. The former Marseille player, who retains a home in England and is said to be keen on a return to the Premier League, told L’Equipe: 'This season the atmosphere in the stands has got worse - twice already, I have been the victim of monkey chants and racist insults.'

Referring to the 2-1 defeat to Olympiakos, he added: 'It was the same thing again on Saturday night. 'They were shaking around inflatable bananas every time I touched the ball. 'This summer I’m leaving, that’s for sure. It’s impossible for me here. I don’t want to play in this league any more.'

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Olympiakos, owner charged over derby fracas


A prosecutor who deals with soccer-related issues on Tuesday charged Olympiakos and its owner, Vangelis Marinakis, in connection to the pitch invasion, clashes and unsporting comments at the end of the Reds’ derby win over Panathinaikos. Olympiakos are being charged for allowing up to 1,000 fans onto the pitch at the end of the game. Some of these supporters attacked Panathinaikos players as they left the field.

Marinakis is being charged with bringing the game into disrepute over his confrontation with some opposition players after the game as well as his comments to journalists. The maximum penalty that Olympiakos can receive is to be forced to play two games behind closed doors. Marinakis is likely to be fined for his behavior. Speaking to TV, Panos Bitsaxis, the general secretary for sport, said that the unsavory incidents at the end of the Olympiakos vs Panathinaikos derby confirmed that clubs are not doing enough to get their houses in order. “The conclusions from the derby are that as an institution, as a cooperative of teams, the Super League is not in a position to organize a championship,” he said.

He also repeated the government’s position that soccer clubs should have any state funding withdrawn if they fail to stamp out violence. One of the main sources of funding for all clubs is sponsorship from the state-controlled gambling firm OPAP. “We say clearly and directly that we are going to close the tap on state sponsorship,” he said. Bitsaxis said that the contracts OPAP signs with clubs from now on would contain strict clauses allowing the company to stop its funding if the teams are bedeviled by fan violence.


      
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