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2015 Greek football scandal

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Date 2015 (ongoing)
Location
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Also known as
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Deaths
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Property damage
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Suspect(s) Evangelos Marinakis, Theodoros Kouridis, Georgios Sarris, Aristidis Stathopoulos, Ioannis Kompotis, Georgios Spanos, Giorgos Arvanitidis, Ioannis Papakonstantinou, Nikos Prountzos, Pafsanias Papanikolaou, Christos Ifantis, Giorgos Douros, Thanasis Briakos, Thanasis Giahos, Ilias Spathas, Alexandros Dimitropoulos, Apostolos Amparkiolis, Giannis Kampaksis, Kostas Ioannidis, Giannis Agkelopoulos, Giorgos Lanaris, Giorgos Vlassis, Maria Anastasaki, Lefteris Zampras, Harilaos Zigogiannis, Ioanna Pantelopoulou
Convictions ΤΒΑ

The 2015 Greek football scandal emerged on 6 April 2015 when prosecutor Aristidis Korreas' 173-page work was revealed. Telephone tapping operated by the National Intelligence Service of Greece has played a significant role in the case.[1] According to the prosecutor's conclusion, Olympiakos F.C. owner Evangelos Marinakis along with Greek Football Federation members Theodoros Kouridis, Aristidis Stathopoulos and Georgios Sarris are suspected of directing a criminal organization since 2011. The goal behind their scheme was to "absolutely control Greek football's fate by the methods of blackmailing and fraud",[2] using and hiding behind the self-governing ("autonomy") status of FIFA and UEFA. Referees, judges, football directors and chairmen are also involved in the scandal. All defendants deny charges. Olympiakos are the champions of the Greek Superleague at the time.

Prosecutor's Conclusion

Organization's beginnings

According to the prosecutor's conclusion, on December 2011, Evangelos Marinakis, Theodoros Kouridis, Aristidis Stathopoulos, Georgios Sarris and Euboea Football Clubs Association president Ioannis Papakonstantinou met at Hilton Hotel in Athens. The decisions that they came up with after their meeting were to support Sarris' candidation for the presidency of Greek Football Federation in the upcoming election and that Evangelos Marinakis would have a leading role in the organization.[3]

File:Konstantineas bakery bombing.jpg
Konstantineas' bakery after the bomb explosion

On January 2012, Kouridis and Stathopoulos following Marinakis orders, secretly met referee Petros Konstantineas, currently a member of Greek government being a key participant in the fight against football corruption,[4] and demanded from him to favour Olympiakos against Xanthi at their 22 January 2012 clash.[5] Konstantineas refused and Olympiakos were defeated by Xanthi.[6] A month later, according to the prosecutor, Marinakis allegedly ordered unknown people to bomb Konstantineas' bakery, which lead to bakery's demolition on 23 February 2012,[7] an incident that "established Olympiakos' president domination on Greek football".[8]

Expanding activity

Marinakis, Kouridis and Sarris used prepaid mobile phones owned typically by Chinese and Pakistani immigrants so as to communicate avoiding surveillance from the National Intelligence Service of Greece, although they were eventually wiretapped nonetheless. The phone Marinakis used was registered to a Pakistani individual named "Fataul Haque", while Sarris' phone was registered to a Chinese one named "Qianqian Zhang".[9]

Korreas' conclusion states that Olympiakos owner's influence expanded to a wider range beyond his own club and that following his interests, various illegallities were committed. Specific referees were ordered so as to favor Platanias F.C., a club that was under Olympiakos' influence, against Panachaiki F.C. in a 2012 Football League play-off match which lead to Platanias F.C. promoting to Super League.[10] He intervened in Football League's Disciplinary Committee work in order to evoke favorable decisions for Tyrnavos 2005 F.C. against Niki Volou.[11] Most important, he managed to influence most of the local Football Clubs Associations across Greece as well as most of the Super League clubs, which out of subordination and financial survival reasons agreed and aided Marinakis' right-hand Giorgos Sarris to become elected as the new president of Greek Football Federation.[12]

The prosecutor's conclusion goes on mentioning that Super League's control was taken using Marinakis' stated power and economic strength. Olympiakos even maintains a large roster aiming to loan players to weaker clubs, succeeding in that manner to "preserve their influence along the league". Club's officials have been recorded by the National Intelligence Service of Greece of even demanding and eventually managing to place in Panionios' manager position, Olympiacos' former goalkeeper Dimitrios Eleftheropoulos, paying half of his contract salary.[13]

Consequent state

Concluding, the prosecutor points up that Marinakis managed to currently dominate Greek football using his power and subsequent alliances and that furthermore, taking advantage of the situation, Olympiakos have been winning the Greek Super League each season since 2011, an achievement that automatically gives the club the income reward of around €20 million per year out of UEFA's market pool[14] resulting from their subsequent participation in the UEFA Champions League Group Phase.

Sarris, Kouridis and Stathopoulos along with their colleagues and former referees Briakos and Douros, compiled the referees' charts for the 2011–12 and 2012–13 seasons of Greek Leagues, including referrees of their utmost trust, such as Ioannidis, Amparkiolis and Kampaksis, who were used in crucial games in favor of the organization's interests. Among others, they refereed the match of Apollon Smyrni F.C. against Panionios, being ordered to favour Panionios, as well as the match of Levadiakos F.C. against Panetolikos F.C., being ordered to favour Levadiakos.[15] Levadiakos' owner Giannis Kompotis, having acquaintances among the organization's circle, regularly benefit from them.

Current status

As of May 2015, suspects are being questioned by investigating judge Georgios Andreadis. Andreadis added 10 suspects to the 16 that prosecutor Aristidis Korreas had proposed.[16] Court council is due to decide who are to put on trial.

On 27 May, the President of the Football Union of Thessaly, Anastasios Batziakas (head of a Union which appealed the current presidency of the Hellenic Football Federation due to corruption), testified that his life was threatened by anonymous calls.[17]

Additional suspects

Additional suspects include Veria F.C. Director of Football Giorgos Lanaris and former owner Giorgos Arvanitidis, regarding 6 January 2013 match of Olympiakos F.C. against Veria. Veria player Nikolaos Georgeas and club's manager Dimitris Kalaitzidis at the time, testified on March 2015 that Lanaris following Arvanitidis orders demanded from Veria players to lose with a 3–0 score, which eventually happened.[18][19] According to Andreadis, both Marinakis and Arvanitidis had agreed on the match fixing.[20]

Atromitos F.C. football director Giannis Agkelopoulos along with club's owner Giorgos Spanos were also questioned by Andreadis on the suspicion of manipulating 4 February 2015 match of Olympiakos against Atromitos, following Panathinaikos F.C. football director Takis Fyssas testimony. Fyssas claimed that Atromitos coach at that time, Ricardo Sá Pinto, had shared with him that Agkelopoulos demanded from the coach not to use Pitu Garcia, Napoleoni, Katsouranis and Kivrakidis for the match in question.[21] At the questioning, Agkelopoulos and Spanos handed over a letter written by Sa Pinto claiming that the story is not true,[22] while Fyssas claims the story is known even by Fernando Santos' assistant, Ricardo Santos. Santos confirmed him after talking to the Press, stating that he had informed Fyssas through a text message which then became part of the latter's testimony.[23][24]

Accusations

Accused Accusations
Evangelos Marinakis (Olympiacos F.C. owner and president)
  • Involved in and directing a criminal organization
  • Aiding and abetting blackmailing
  • Aiding and abetting explosion
  • Aiding and abetting bribery
  • Fraud
Theodoros Kouridis (former HFF counsel)
  • Constituting and directing a criminal organization
  • Fraud
  • Blackmailing
  • Bribery
Georgios Sarris (former HFF and Referee Committee president)
  • Constituting and directing a criminal organization
  • Fraud
  • Blackmailing
  • Bribery
Aristidis Stathopoulos (HFF board of directors member)
  • Constituting and directing a criminal organization
  • Fraud
  • Blackmailing
Ioannis Kompotis (Levadiakos F.C. owner)
  • Bribery
Giorgos Spanos (Atromitos F.C. owner)
  • Bribery
Giorgos Arvanitidis (former Veria F.C. owner)
  • Bribery
Ioannis Papakonstantinou (HFF board of directors member)
  • Involved in a criminal organization
  • Blackmailing
Nikos Prountzos (HFF board of directors member)
  • Bribery
Pafsanias Papanikolaou (HFF executive)
  • Bribery
Hristos Ifantis (HFF substitute general manager)
  • Bribery
Giorgos Douros (former Referee Committee substitute president)
  • Involved in a criminal organization
  • Fraud
  • Blackmailing
  • Bribery
Thanasis Briakos (former Referee Committee member)
  • Involved in a criminal organization
  • Fraud
  • Blackmailing
  • Bribery
Thanasis Giahos (referee)
  • Bribery
Ilias Spathas (referee)
  • Bribery
Alexandros Dimitropoulos (referee)
  • Bribery
Apostolos Amparkiolis (referee)
  • Bribery
Giannis Kampaksis (referee)
  • Bribery
Kostas Ioannidis (referee)
  • Bribery
Giannis Agkelopoulos (Atromitos F.C. Director of Football)
  • Bribery
Giorgos Lanaris (Veria F.C. Director of Football)
  • Bribery
Giorgos Vlassis (HFF Referee Court member)
  • Bribery
Maria Anastasaki (HFF Appeal Court member)
  • Bribery
Lefteris Zampras (former Football League Disciplinary Committee president)
  • Bribery
Harilaos Zigogiannis (former Football League Disciplinary Committee member)
  • Bribery
Ioanna Pantelopoulou (Football League Disciplinary Committee member)
  • Bribery

[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 12. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  2. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 159. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  3. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 160. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  4. ^ Member of Parliament. 
  5. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 161. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Scoda Xanthi – Olympiakos 1–0. 22 January 2012. 
  7. ^ Τίναξαν στον αέρα το φούρνο του διαιτητή Π. Κωνσταντινέα στην Καλαμάτα (in greek). 23 February 2012. 
  8. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 162. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 94. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Playoff results. 
  11. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 163. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  12. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 163. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 163. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 164. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  15. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 164. Retrieved 6 April 2015. 
  16. ^ Αυτοί είναι οι 26 κατηγορούμενοι της «εγκληματικής οργάνωσης» (in Greek). Efimerida Syntakton. 29 April 2015. 
  17. ^ Απειλές καταγγέλει ο πρόεδρος που θέλει να ρίξει την ΕΠΟ» (in Greek). sdna.gr. 27 May 2015. 
  18. ^ Το δικαστικό... ντέρμπι της Βέροιας κρίνει τη μάχη της παραμονής (in Greek). Ethnos Newspaper. 10 May 2015. 
  19. ^ 4η Αγ. ΟΛΥΜΠΙΑΚΟΣ – ΒΕΡΟΙΑ 3–0. 20 September 2014. 
  20. ^ Κατηγορούμενος ο Μαρινάκης για το Ολυμπιακός-Βέροια (in Greek). 12 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Περάστε κόσμε... (in Greek). Efimerida Syntakton. 21 April 2015. 
  22. ^ Δήλωσε άγνοια για τις... παρεμβάσεις ο Σα Πίντο (in Greek). 20 April 2015. 
  23. ^ Φύσσας: «Σκοπός μου ήταν μόνο να μεταφέρω την αλήθεια» (in Greek). 6 May 2015. 
  24. ^ Ρικάρντο: «Ο Φύσσας δεν λέει ψέματα!» (in Greek). 7 May 2015. 
  25. ^ Πόρισμα εισαγγελέα Αριστείδη Κορρέα για την ύπαρξη εγκληματικής οργάνωσης στο ποδόσφαιρο (in Greek). Public Prosecutor's Office of District Court Judges. 3 December 2014. p. 168. Retrieved 6 April 2015.