Tuesday , June 7 2011 : The credibility of football faced another challenge in Greece this week as the police reported the arrest of 7 individuals charged with game-fixing activity.
Associated Press reports that the latest scandal has rattled the professional game in Greece, where the country’s soccer association suspended its operations on Monday in a move designed to give authorities a chance to reform the sport.
Seven gamblers were charged with fraud-related offences, while eight other suspects are being investigated after allegedly making more than $22,000 each from state-controlled soccer pools, according to judicial officials Monday.
The probe was launched after soccer’s governing body in Europe, UEFA, handed Greek authorities a report citing irregular betting patterns in 2009 and 2010, mostly involving Greek Cup and Division 2 games. Team officials and players are due to give testimony later this year.
On Monday, the Greek FA implemented a decision taken by its governing board on Friday to suspend all activities indefinitely, and to seek talks with the government and professional clubs on reforms.
FA chief Sofoklis Pilavios said the move was a response to both repeated cases of fan violence at Greek matches, and to allegations of corruption in the domestic game.
Pilavios said on Friday that Greek soccer had fallen into the “hands of hooligans, violence, and match-fixers.